Australian Jesuit missionary attacked in India

An Australian Jesuit missionary based in the northern Indian state of Ranchi was attacked by a gang of three suspected robbers as he walked through a busy road to his office in the morning.

Indian Catholic reports that Fr Peter Jones, 78, director of Chotanagpur Catholic Cooperative Society was attacked last Wednesday. He is now hospitalised with deep head injuries.

Fr Jones, one of a large contingent of Australian Jesuits to leave for the Hazaribag region of India in the 1950s, was attacked as he walked to his office in the morning from Jesuits' Manresa house, which is just walking distance from his office. The cooperative society is also known as Catholic Bank.

The priest said he carried a brief case and robbers might have thought that as the head of the "bank" he was carrying some money in it. But the briefcase had only some keys, his lunch and diary.

He said he tried to tell the attackers that he carried no money, but they attacked him before he could say anything. He was beaten with an iron rod from behind in head and hand.

He said he fell unconscious and some people reached him hospital, where he recovered consciousness.

Cardinal Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi and several top police officials visited him at the hospital.

Carinal Toppo condemned the attack and said it was a sign of increasing crimes in the city. He said it showed the deteriorating law and order in the state and asked the state to act.

Australian Jesuit missioner attacked in Ranchi (Indian Catholic 21/1/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Jesuit Mission
Hazaribagh Jesuits (Albert Street Productions - DVD/video)
India: Bihar: Jesuit Priest Murdered for Defending Dalits Land Rights (Asia Human Rights Commission 11/11/97)

23 Jan 2006