In a shocking incident, a Christian priest in Belagavi in Karnataka was chased by a man with a sword on Saturday afternoon. The attempted attack on Father Francis of Saint Joseph's 'The Worker Church' on the evening of Saturday, December 12, was caught on CCTV cameras and is being widely shared on social media. This attack comes as the Christian community across the state has come under threat from Hindu vigilante groups in recent months in the garb of fighting against forced conversions. The incident took place at the residence of the Father Francis, where the miscreant had been hiding.
The attacker tried to hit Father Francis with his sword as soon as he came out of the house to check on a dog which was barking continuously. Speaking with TNM, Fr Francis confirmed that he did not know the attacker. â€śUsually my dog is inside the house but yesterday, I noticed the dog barking from outside by someone who also left the main gate open. I went out to get my dog inside and close the gate, that is when a person who was standing outside with a sword was almost about to attack me. I somehow managed to run and escape and called for help. The man fled after he failed to attack me,â€ť he said.
The attack on Saturday also comes with the winter session of the state Assembly set to begin in the city from Monday where the contentious anti-conversion Bill is set to be introduced. Earlier, police in this district had come under criticism for asking Christian community to avoid prayer meetings in private halls to avoid facing attacks by fringe Hindu groups.
As per preliminary investigation, police said that they have identified the accused and efforts are on to detain him. Commissioner of Police K Thiyagarajan told TNM that the accused is intellectually disabled and prima facie this attack was not politically motivated.