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Indian priest killed during ethnic clash


A priest was killed in India's eastern Jharkhand state on Monday, when tried to stop a violent clash between local groups.

CLICK HERECatholic World News reports that Fr Ignatius Bara of the Simdega diocese had intervened in a conflict that began when Hindu militants attacked villagers (many of them Christians) who were taking part in a village political meeting.

"He rushed to the spot, on hearing about the clash, and was stabbed," reported Father Anand Jojo, vicar general of the Simdega diocese.

Describing the incident, Vicar General of Simdega, Monsignor Anand Jojo gave the following account which was published on the Indian Bishops Conference website: "The incident took place when people were in dharna (protest) near Chandtanga village of Tainsera panchayat in Banbira parish. The group came to chase the people sitting in dharna and beat them up badly, resulting in the fight between the two. Father Ignatius Bara tried to pacify the situation. They attacked and killed him on the spot by the traditional weapon (balua, small knife)."

Fr Bara died on the spot with a deep cut in his neck. The police have taken the body for post mortem and funeral was held yesterday.

The tribals of the village have been protesting against the high court judgement on reservation according to the Panchayat Extension Scheduled Area Act 1996 (PESA)." The judgement took away some of the reservation put in place to protect the right of the tribal people. According to the organisers of the protest, the people of the village had come out on to the high way for a day-long peaceful protest.

SOURCE
Indian priest killed during ethnic clash (Catholic World News 13/9/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Bishops Conference of India

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14 Sep 2005