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July 6, 2010

Christian Priest Shot in Bihar:  Latest Update 

Bihar police arrested three persons for attempting to kill a Catholic priest on July 2 in Mokama, Bihar.

On June 28, Catholic priest Father Michael Ignatius was shot by two masked men in the parochial house of the Catholic Church of Mokama. Speaking to EFI, Father Ignatius said, ‘Three masked men suddenly appeared and two entered into the church while one waited outside. The two started firing towards me. Two bullets hit me on my left hand and one at the other hand”.

Police arrested three persons under Sections 307/ 34 and 120 B of the Indian Penal Code and 27 Arms Act. “We registered a case against three persons, Akhilesh Kumar, the main accused who is absconding, his brother Satish Kumar and one against an unknown person” Sub Divisional Police Officer of Mokama, Ramadan Kumar Kaushal told EFI. “We are tracing the whereabouts of Akhilesh Kumar and we are positive that we will find him soon.” he added.

Satish Kumar was sent to Barg Jail on 2 July.

“It will take sometime to fully recover from my injury. Unfortunately, we learned later on that the main accused was one of the Parishners in my Church. I cannot see any reason why such an attempt was made on me,” Father Ignatius told EFI.

Christian professor’s hand chopped off

Allegedly eight Islamic extremists cut off a Christian professor’s hand for preparing a question with an objectionable reference to Prophet Mohammed on 4 June in Muvatupuzha, Kerala.

The incident took place when Professor T J Joseph, his mother and sister were returning back home from church. Armed extremists stopped the car and forcefully pulled out Joseph and his family members. They verbally abused the two women, manhandled them and then turned to Joseph and brutally cut off one hand.

It was reported that Newman College professor, T J Joseph was suspended after preparing a question paper with an objectionable reference to the Prophet for the internal examination of second year B.Com held last year in March. A case has also been registered against him.

A police officer investigating the attack allegedly received death threats over phone on Monday, according to reports.

The attack against Joseph has been condemned by several Muslim organizations, including the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and the Jama'at-e-Islami, which calls for a significant response against the culprits. Panakad Hyderali Shiyab Thangal, supreme leader of IUML, has asked that the perpetrators be prosecuted harshly and referring to the questionnaire compiled by Joseph, said: "An error can not be corrected by another mistake".

EFI is sad to learn about this barbaric act and expresses anguish that some group of people took law into their hands. The case is under judicial process.

An appeal to write to authorities

As concerned people, kindly write to the Chief Minister of Kerela and Bihar appealing to them to safe guard the rights of the minority communities and to give protection to churches against attacks and to take immediate action against the perpetrators of violence.

Shri V S Achutanandan
Chief Minister of Kerela

(O) Tel: +91 471 2333812 ; 2332184
(O) Fax: +91 471 2333489
(R) Tel: +91 471 2314853 ; 2318406
Email: [email protected]

Shri Nitish Kumar
Chief Minister of Bihar

(O) Tel: +91 612 2223886 ; 2224784
Email: [email protected]

Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
General Secretary
Evangelical Fellowship of India
New Delhi, India

Evangelical Fellowship of India (established 1951) is a charter member of World Evangelical Alliance, an accredited NGO with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations