THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Attingal police on Monday identified and arrested five persons in connection with the attack on a Christian prayer hall here on Sunday. The accused are T T Anoop, 38 of Elappuram, Attingal; Anoop, 30 of Kizhuvalam; Abhijith,22 of Attakulam Attingal; Vimal, 30 of Kizhuvalam and Deepu, 20 of Kallambalam.
According to the police, the five are suspected to be RSS activists who unleashed an attack on the prayer hall, leaving many devotees injured.
The incident occurred on Sunday at 12.30 pm, when 50 of the suspected RSS activists barged into the prayer hall situated at the Attingal Riot Memorial Library hall and attacked the people assembled in the hall, including the pastor, without any provocation.
The prayer group named ‘Reaching the world with love ministry’ was conducting the weekly prayer meet. Over 200 people were gathered for the prayer meet.
“Despite manhandling the devotees, the activists also allegedly vandalised valuable equipment including televisions and cameras and destroyed the food kept for lunch. The injured people were - including pastor Siju, 24 - Sam, 26, Valsala,48, Binu, 42, Saju, 24 and Baby Girija, 45. All of them are out of danger and recovering well. However, the investigation is on to find more persons involved in the attack and they will be nabbed soon,” a police official said.
Rural SP Shefeen Ahamed said that the assailants allegedly broke a finger of a middle aged woman and even beat up a physically challenged man seated on a chair, asking him to get up and clear off. “This is an attack on the freedom of religion”, the SP said.
Condemning the incident, Home Minster Ramesh Chennithala said that it was nothing but an attack on belief and everyone had the right to believe and worship. However, the government and the citizens were committed to giving full protection to them.