Friday, August 29, 2008

Bombs Used in Orissa Anti-Christian Violence

Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre Destroyed with Bombs

Petrol and matchsticks were not the only weapons used in razing Christian churches and institutions. Obviously a huge building like the Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre which escaped destruction in last December's violence could not easily be brought down with fire. How then was it destroyed? Evidences from more than one source concur here. Bombs were used in the destruction activity.

Fr. Augustine Kanjamala writes:
"A meeting of Hindu leaders took place on the following day in Rourkela, also known as Steel City, where a decision for an immediate and violent retaliation was taken. The total success of the dawn to dusk strike in Orissa on 25 August is clear evidence of the shocking reaction. The simultaneous unleashing of violent attacks on 35 Christian centres in Orissa on the evening of 25 August further confirms that the plan was organized.

All bomb attacks were directed at Christians and their institutions. The rampaging mob, seeking revenge for the Guru’s murder, destroyed the pastoral centre of the archdiocese of Bhuvaneshwar with a bomb. A priest and a nun working there were beaten up, stripped and paraded naked in order to humiliate them. Four other priests were severely beaten—one suffered severe burns and is now in critical conditions in Burla Medical College, in the district of Sambalpur"
Another SVD Priest reporting from Orissa writes:
The Pastoral Centre, at Konjamendi, a huge building of the Archdiocese of Bhubaneswar is totally demolished by blasting it with bombs.
Later Archbishop Raphael Cheenath who learnt of the destruction from Fr. Thomas, the Pastoral Centre's director, said:
"Father Thomas, director of our pastoral centre, is hiding in the forest," the archbishop said. "From there, tears in his eyes and sorrow in his heart, he saw it go up in smoke. Just before the attack he phoned me and I told him: 'Pray and be vigilant.' But when he saw mobs of people coming towards the centre he had to flee for his life. The pastoral centre had cost more than 15 million rupees."

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