Indian Village Tense After Attack on Christian Priests

Tension gripped a village in the Indian state of Orissa after a group of "Hindu fanatics" allegedly attacked four Christian priests, police said Tuesday.

According to Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), a police official reported that some people--believed to be supporters of the Hindu radical Bajrang Dal--allegedly attacked Sanjay Pal, Dubai Tudu and two other Christian priests in Gopinathpur village of Balasore district Sunday night.

While the priests allege that the group of people attacked them when they were at a prayer meeting inside a house, the Hindu extremists claim the priests were attempting to convert poor people to Christianity.

IANS reports that both priests and some Hindus have lodged police complaints, each against the other.

Police official P.C. Patnaik added, "We have deployed adequate armed policemen to avoid further tension."

Although tension is running high in the village, the situation is under control.

On Tuesday afternoon, some arrests were made regarding the incident.

According to the International Religious Freedom Report, released on Sept. 15, attacks on religious minorities occurred in several states, which brought into question the Government's ability to prevent sectarian and religious violence. However, some improvements were observed during the period covered by the report.