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Hindu Radicals attacks a Christian School and beat up staff in Madhya Pradesh, India

By James Varghese

10/15/07 INDIA (ANS) — Holy Faith Bal Red Cross School in Harda, Madhya Pradesh , India , was attacked on Thursday, October 11, by a group of 35 members from Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal Hindu radical groups.

The thugs severely beat up two staff members of this Christian school and made a false allegation of “forcible conversion” against head of the institution which is run by Way of Salvation Society, based in Bhopal , the state capital.

The Rev. Samuel Matthew administers the school that was attacked and has lived in the Harda district (which is 169 kms from Bhopal , the state capital) for the past 20 years and serves also as an independent pastor.

Based on the information given to ANS by Mr. Jacob Samuel Matthew, the son of Rev. Matthew, this incident took place on October 11, at around 1:30 pm, when a group of 35 Hindu radicals from Bajrang Dal and RSS groups entered Rev Samuel’s school premises shouting “Victory to Lord Ram” slogans and ransacked his office, and damaged computers, an office table and window glass.

As the gang were trespassing on the school premises, the Rev Matthew made an urgent telephone call to the local Superintendent of Police, Mrs. Deepika Suri, and she immediately responded by sending a police force to the school. In the meantime, the gang caught hold of two staff members of the school, Santhosh (30) and Shibu, (28) and beat them severely, leaving them with internal injuries and bruises all over their bodies.

This incident took place over an issue of documents asked by the school management of new teachers they had recruited. This came in the form of an advertisement for vacancies for the posts of teachers and principal of this school.

Five Hindu teachers from the state of Kerala applied to the school; among them were four who had applied for the post of teacher and one for of principal. When they had applied, they were told by the school management to produce their original documents for the verification purpose upon arrival.

One of the five was a person who had applied for the post of principal who told the school authorities that his documents were kept in the court, as a security because his daughter was going through with a case of divorce. He told Rev. Matthew that he would submit his documents in three months. Rev. Matthew agreed for the same and told him that in case if he failed to submit the documents; he would be terminated from his post as principal.

On October 6, after three months, when he was asked to supply the documents, the man refused and allegedly told Rev. Matthew that he would make a false allegation of “forcible conversion” against him. Apparently, from October 6 to 11, he began meeting with several Hindu radical groups trying to explain his problem and also began making false allegations against Rev Mathew and stated that the minister had offered him one million Rupees ($25,542.7842 USD), and a house, if he embraced Christianity and the man’s daughter also complained that attempts had been made by one of the members of the school staff to molest her.

So on October 11, they attacked the school.

Rev Matthew was charged under section 153 A, 295 A, and 342, a non bailable offence and the next court hearing is on Wednesday, October 17th.

Please pray for God’s divine protection for the Rev. Samuel Matthew and his family and also for the school.