Masked men attack priests, loot church in Meghalaya

This was the fourth such instance of dacoity in Garo Hills churches in the past one month, and police suspect it to be the handiwork of one and the same gang.

Published: 30th January 2019 04:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th January 2019 07:41 PM   |  A+A-

Church

Representational image

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Masked men attacked two senior priests, looted their church and vandalised it in Garo Hills of Meghalaya in the wee hours of Wednesday.

The assault, carried out with iron rods, left the two priests grievously injured. It was perpetrated at St Dominic Savio Church, Garobadha. This is the fourth such incident of robbery in a church in Garo Hills in the past month.

In an FIR lodged with the police, parish priest Fr Denis T Sangma alleged the dacoits, numbering around 20 and speaking broken Garo language, had swooped down on the church at around 1:15 am. 

“The miscreants entered the house of main Mission building, broke open the main gate and entered the Parish Priest Office. They opened all the drawers and took away approximately Rs.1.25 lakh along with two mobile handsets of assistant parish priest Rev Fr Thomas John and preacher Daniel M Sangma,” he said, adding, “The assailants tied the hands and mouth of the victims with pieces of cloth and beaten them up severely with iron rods”. 

Fr Sangma said after a while, when another parish priest John Mathias M Marak got a whiff of the incident, he alerted the other inmates of the Parish which made the miscreants to flee the scene of crime with money and other valuables.

Superintendent of Police MGR Kumar said a team of police officers was investigating the matter. The modus operandi of the all four incidents in Garo Hills looks similar, he said.

The previous incidents of robbery had taken place at Dawagre in East Garo Hills, Chokpot in South Garo Hills and Dalu in the west. 

“We made some progress in our investigation into the cases. Hopefully, we will be able to nab the miscreants soon,” he added.

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