Attack on convent staff
The Hindu, Dec1, 2006
|VHP, Bajrang Dal activists blamed|
— PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM
REGISTERING THEIR PROTEST: Teachers and students of Avila Convent in Mysore staging a demonstration against the attack on the institution by suspected VHP and Bajrang Dal activists on Thursday.
MYSORE: Suspected Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal activists allegedly manhandled the staff of a Christian educational institution and smashed a statue on its premises here on Thursday.
According to a police complaint, a group of 50 people, including four, who identified themselves as VHP and Bajrang Dal activists, entered the Avila Convent during lunch hour and abused Sister Francina, the headmistress, for "promoting the sale of Christian literature."
In her complaint, Sister Francina said the activists manhandled the peon, who came to her rescue after seeing them rushing towards her menacingly. A few other teachers were also pushed around, she said.
The activists smashed the statue kept in a glass casket.
City Police Commissioner Pravin Sood told The Hindu that a case has been registered. A person identified as Sanjay was arrested and now in judicial custody.
Mr. Sood said the police were on the look out for others. "We will make more arrests shortly," he added.
Sister Francina told The Hindu that four persons came to her office around 11.30 a.m. and identified themselves as VHP and Bajrang Dal activists. They brought a man they alleged was found selling Christian literature in a neighbouring school at her (Sister Francina) behest. "They flung on my table a couple of books, which they claimed had been recovered from the man," she said.
"They dragged away the man after he refused to testify before me that he was selling the books at my behest. But they returned with more people an hour later and forced the man to accuse me of encouraging him to sell the literature," she said.
The trouble continued till the police patrol vehicle arrived. But Sister Francina expressed dissatisfaction with the police inspector. "Not only did the police take a long time to come to the school, the police inspector behaved rudely. He was unwilling to listen to our side of the story. I was silenced and asked to get into the vehicle along with the troublemakers. Only later was I asked to get down from the police vehicle," she said.
The teachers and students of the school later staged a demonstration against the attack.