New Delhi, Dec 7, (dpa/GNA) – An angry mob in central India forced its way onto the premises of a Christian school on Monday, throwing stones and damaging property in protest at religious conversions rumored to be taking place there, school officials said on Tuesday.
Brother Anthony Tynumkel, administrator of St Joseph’s School in the city of Ganj Basoda in Madhya Pradesh, said that a mob of at least 200 people came in through the school gate shouting slogans favored by radical Hindu nationalists.
“Some of them turned violent and threw stones and damaged property. We shifted the students to the top floor so they were safe. After some time, they left,” Tynumkel said, adding that the school had been conducting the year’s final examinations when the incident occurred.
The mob is believed to have been whipped up into a frenzy by a letter circulated on social media that claims eight pupils were converted to Christianity at St Joseph’s on October 31.
The accusations were untrue, according to Tynumkel: “We don’t have any attendance on Sundays and the students named do not study here.”
“The police has detained four people, more will be identified through CCTV. We have posted additional security at the school and adjoining church. All employees, children, the nuns – everyone is safe,” said local government official Roshan Rai.
Rai said all those responsible for the vandalism would be punished, but also confirmed that a probe had begun into the alleged religious conversions.
While voluntary religious conversion is legal in India, right-wing Hindu groups have long accused Christians in the country of luring the poor to join churches in exchange for education and other advantages.
Source: Ghana News Agency