Orissa: First Catholic Priest Dies of Assault Injuries

Fr. Bernard Digal who was attacked during anti-Christian violence in the month of August in Kandhamal district of Orissa died in a Chennai hospital, 28 Oct succumbing to injuries. Archbishop Cheenath of Cuttack-Bhuabaneswar was beside Fr Bernard before he died. Perhaps Fr. Bernard is the first catholic priest to die in the attacks by VHP cadre since the ongoing Aug 08 communal violence unleashed on Christians.


Sources reaching from Rev. Harichandra, PRO of AICC, Orissa reports that Fr. Bernard was attacked in Kandhamal is last August. His jeep was burnt and he was brutally beaten and left in the open field. He was taken to the local hospital in Bhubaneshwor, then taken to Mumbai and later to Chennai. He died for his faith and in the service of his Master at Chennai.


The anti-christian violence reported by Orissa government of coming to the normalcy is due to the fact that there are no more Christians left in the once Christian villages to be attacked and killed by Hindutva forces and no Christian home and church also left in those villages that Hindu fanatics can burn down.


15,000 refugees in relief camps and 40,000 refugees in forest, refuse to return back to their respective homes and villages for the fear of being attacked and killed or forced into convert to Hinduism. Orissa has Freedom of Religion Bill which bans the conversion, but the conversion to Hinduism is not considered a crime even if force, fraud and inducement is used by the Hindutva brigades to convert Christians to Hinduism.


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