India: Jesuit residence attacked in anti-Dalit violence

In the Kandhamal district of Orissa, a state which saw acts of violence against Christians in December 2007, fighting broke out anew on 8 July. Sparked by reports that a cow had been killed by Dalits who habitually eat meat, unlike Brahmins (members of the highest caste), and around fifteen men from the town attacked the local Jesuit residence. Antony Raj SJ reports: “[They] destroyed both the gates, entered the premises and broke a cross in the chapel, beheaded the statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola and threw the liturgical books and the Bible out. They also broke a few windows, two cabinets, a wash basin and a refrigerator in the residence and spread the rumour that there was beef in the fridge. They also stole things from three rooms that were not locked.”