Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Communalism

MP: Bajrang Dal men attack Christian-run school even as students were writing an exam inside!

500-strong mob pelted stones at the building claiming religious conversion of students; only two cops deputed despite school administration's plea for help

Sabrangindia 07 Dec 2021

Christian Community
Image Courtesy:newindianexpress.com

Schools run by the Christian community continue to be under attack by the right-wing groups in Madhya Pradesh. On December 6, a mob swearing allegiance to the Bajrang Dal, barged into the St Joseph School in Ganj Basoda town of Vidisha district, around 105 km from Bhopal, the state capital.

The mob pelted stones at the building claiming religious conversion of students by the Christian Missionary institution. The dangerous violence took place while the students of Class 12 were sitting for a mathematics exam, reported NDTV. Luckily the children were not hurt and had a narrow escape along with the school staff. But, the fact that the attack took place even as students were appearing for an examination inside the school, showcases how little the attackers actually cared about the students.

The school was reportedly targeted by the Bajrang Dal, after “allegations on social media that as many as eight students were converted by the administration” stated the news reports. The right-wing mob were easily able to enter the St. Joseph School. They alleged “conversions’ on the basis of a fake news spread by a local Youtube Channel named “Aayudh” reported Matters India. 

Video clips of the attack went viral on social media on Monday, and showed the massive mobs entering the school campus. They then pelted stones, broke windows and damaged a vehicle. 

According to news reports, local police were seen trying to disperse the crowd. Recounting the panic as the mob threw stones at the glass windows, a student told the media, "Our concentration was broken, we want the exam to be held again". 

Brother Antony Pynumkal, principal of St Joseph’s School told the media that the allegation of conversion was “fake and baseless.” Belonging to the Malabar Missionary order, Pynumkal said they “received a memorandum on November 30 from some local Hindu groups from Ahirwar, Dangi and Rajput Communities alleging conversion of students”. Pynumkal said that none of the names mentioned in the complaint matches any of the students. He reportedly had also alerted the police and the state administration. However the mobs still managed to collect and attack the school.

The Diocese of Sagar’s PRO Fr. Sabu Puthenpurackal issued a media statement on Monday evening, saying 500 people attacked the Catholic school, and even after the management had informed the police “only two of them were deployed in the school premise when the mob came.”

“They could not do anything,” added Brother Pynumkal. The management had also informed the local police about the right wing’s “memorandum” as well as the ongoing board exams in the school. 

According to reports, the St. Joseph Church Ganj Basoda had organised a Holy Communion celebration for the Catholic children of the Parish on October 31. A customary group photo of the Catholic children along with the Bishop and the Parish Priest was published in the Diocesan Monthly e-Newsletter “Sagar Voice” on November 5. This photo was misinterpreted as “conversion of Hindu children” by the Youtube channel Aayudh and that is what fuelled the communal attack on the Christian run school. However, the Catholic children who were in the photo are not students and the parish is some two kilometers away from the school, Pynumkal told the media, adding that the school has around 1,500 students and “less than one percent of them are Christians.”

Last month, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) team, led by its chairman Priyank Kanoongo, conducted a surprise inspection on November 8 at a girls’ hostel at Kheri village in Raisen district, located around 50 kms northeast of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh citing allegations of religious conversion. After the inspection the Commission has reportedly demanded a report within 10 days.  The home is run by Catholic nuns, and the NCPCR chief alleged that “religious conversions are suspected” there.  

Related:

Hate Watch: Dalit worker’s hand chopped for seeking wages in MP
Madhya Pradesh: NCPCR ‘inspects’ girls hostel run by nuns, alleges conversion
MP: Four babies killed in fire at government run hospital 

MP: Bajrang Dal men attack Christian-run school even as students were writing an exam inside!

500-strong mob pelted stones at the building claiming religious conversion of students; only two cops deputed despite school administration's plea for help

Christian Community
Image Courtesy:newindianexpress.com

Schools run by the Christian community continue to be under attack by the right-wing groups in Madhya Pradesh. On December 6, a mob swearing allegiance to the Bajrang Dal, barged into the St Joseph School in Ganj Basoda town of Vidisha district, around 105 km from Bhopal, the state capital.

The mob pelted stones at the building claiming religious conversion of students by the Christian Missionary institution. The dangerous violence took place while the students of Class 12 were sitting for a mathematics exam, reported NDTV. Luckily the children were not hurt and had a narrow escape along with the school staff. But, the fact that the attack took place even as students were appearing for an examination inside the school, showcases how little the attackers actually cared about the students.

The school was reportedly targeted by the Bajrang Dal, after “allegations on social media that as many as eight students were converted by the administration” stated the news reports. The right-wing mob were easily able to enter the St. Joseph School. They alleged “conversions’ on the basis of a fake news spread by a local Youtube Channel named “Aayudh” reported Matters India. 

Video clips of the attack went viral on social media on Monday, and showed the massive mobs entering the school campus. They then pelted stones, broke windows and damaged a vehicle. 

According to news reports, local police were seen trying to disperse the crowd. Recounting the panic as the mob threw stones at the glass windows, a student told the media, "Our concentration was broken, we want the exam to be held again". 

Brother Antony Pynumkal, principal of St Joseph’s School told the media that the allegation of conversion was “fake and baseless.” Belonging to the Malabar Missionary order, Pynumkal said they “received a memorandum on November 30 from some local Hindu groups from Ahirwar, Dangi and Rajput Communities alleging conversion of students”. Pynumkal said that none of the names mentioned in the complaint matches any of the students. He reportedly had also alerted the police and the state administration. However the mobs still managed to collect and attack the school.

The Diocese of Sagar’s PRO Fr. Sabu Puthenpurackal issued a media statement on Monday evening, saying 500 people attacked the Catholic school, and even after the management had informed the police “only two of them were deployed in the school premise when the mob came.”

“They could not do anything,” added Brother Pynumkal. The management had also informed the local police about the right wing’s “memorandum” as well as the ongoing board exams in the school. 

According to reports, the St. Joseph Church Ganj Basoda had organised a Holy Communion celebration for the Catholic children of the Parish on October 31. A customary group photo of the Catholic children along with the Bishop and the Parish Priest was published in the Diocesan Monthly e-Newsletter “Sagar Voice” on November 5. This photo was misinterpreted as “conversion of Hindu children” by the Youtube channel Aayudh and that is what fuelled the communal attack on the Christian run school. However, the Catholic children who were in the photo are not students and the parish is some two kilometers away from the school, Pynumkal told the media, adding that the school has around 1,500 students and “less than one percent of them are Christians.”

Last month, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) team, led by its chairman Priyank Kanoongo, conducted a surprise inspection on November 8 at a girls’ hostel at Kheri village in Raisen district, located around 50 kms northeast of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh citing allegations of religious conversion. After the inspection the Commission has reportedly demanded a report within 10 days.  The home is run by Catholic nuns, and the NCPCR chief alleged that “religious conversions are suspected” there.  

Related:

Hate Watch: Dalit worker’s hand chopped for seeking wages in MP
Madhya Pradesh: NCPCR ‘inspects’ girls hostel run by nuns, alleges conversion
MP: Four babies killed in fire at government run hospital 

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Videos

Labour

Why are Anganwadi Workers protesting in Bengal

Anganwadi Workers and helpers have launched protest in Bengal demanding higher wages, compensation and recognition as government workers. Listen to some of these Anganwadi workers’ plight from Malda, Bengal.

Labour

Why are Anganwadi Workers protesting in Bengal

Anganwadi Workers and helpers have launched protest in Bengal demanding higher wages, compensation and recognition as government workers. Listen to some of these Anganwadi workers’ plight from Malda, Bengal.

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives