By BosNewsLife News Center
NEW DELHI, INDIA (BosNewsLife) -- "Many Christians" were injured when hundreds of suspected Hindu militants on Wednesday, February 28, raided a Christian college in the Indian state of Orissa and beat staff members and students, investigators told BosNewsLife.
"Around 500 radicals forcefully entered the campus of Believers Church Bible College and their office" located in the city of Brajarajnagar in Orissa's Jharsuguda district, said Sajan George, the national president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), which represents churches and mission groups.
"They injured many of the" staff and students during the beatings and attacked everyone in the complex "one by one" he and other GCIC representatives said. Only about five police officers reportedly arrived at the scene, but they "became the silent spectators of the continued atrocities" as militants continued their beatings and ransacked the complex, GCIC investigators claimed.
It was not immediately clear how many people were victims of the attack, but the complex is large and reports suggested that at least several dozens were injured. "The situation prevailing there is totally beyond control and tense at present," George told BosNewsLife in a statement. He said GCIC representatives managed to reach police officials who "assured us to give absolute and sufficient protection."
He said the campus was currently without electricity as the militants "disrupted the electric supply by disconnecting and cutting all the electric wires." He said the GCIC was informed that law enforcement officials and other authorities were to take "statements of the injured persons and carry out medical examinations" in the campus.
GCIC also "comforted the victims [who are] believers" and said it had urged Christians in the state and around the world to pray for the injured.
The attack came on the heels of violence on February 18 against five young men studying at a Bible college run by mission group Gospel for Asia (GFA) in the Indian state of Maharashtra. They were reportedly recovering from "severe injuries" after they were beaten by an angry anti-Christian crowd. Two of the students were listed in "critical condition."
The attack in Orissa has underscored concerns of more violence against evangelical Christians in the troubled state. Orissa made world headlines in 1999 when Australian missionary Graham Stuart Staines and his two sons Timothy, 9, and Philip, 7, were burnt alive in a station wagon at Manoharpur village in Orissa's Keonjhar district. He had been working in Orissa among the poor and especially for people suffering from leprosy since 1965, and later with his wife, who survived. (With BosNewsLife reporting and BosNewsLife's Stefan J. Bos).
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