Suspected Hindu extremists demolished the wall of a Catholic mission hospital and manhandled staff, including nuns, in the latest incident in Madhya Pradesh state, considered a hotbed of anti-Christian violence in central India.
Ucanews.com reported some 60 people, with the help of a bulldozer, razed the boundary wall of 44-year-old Pushpa Mission Hospital in the temple town of Ujjain on 12th March. They blocked its emergency entrance and destroyed equipment, including power generators.
The hospital has been facing trouble since January after Gagan Singh, the personal assistant of a local legislator, staked a claim over disputed land, said Fr Anthony Pulickamandapam, hospital director.
He told ucanews.com that the land in front of the hospital was given to the hospital by the local civic body for use as a parking area and to maintain its greenery.
The dispute has gone to court after members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the pro-Hindu party that runs the state government, attempted to take over the land on 27th January, accusing the Church of illegally occupying the site.
On 2nd February, hospital authorities obtained a stay order from the Madhya Pradesh High Court to maintain the status quo until a further hearing. But the court transferred the case to a lower court for a police investigation and hearing.
Picture: Suspected Hindu activists put up a fence blocking the emergency entrance of Pushpa Mission Hospital in Ujjain, India, after destroying the Catholic hospital’s wall on 12th March. (CNS photo/Father Anoop Joseph, courtesy Diocese of Ujjain).