Bishop condemns church attacks, appeals for intensified night patrolling

TURA: The Bishop of Tura, Rt. Rev. Andrew R Marak has condemned the attacks on churches in the Garo Hills and has requested the Meghalaya home minister and the police department to intensify the night patrolling and take all necessary measures to protest the life and property of the people and the churches.

“Four incidents of robbery have been reported at various churches in Garo Hills in a span of 20 days this month, the latest robbery being at St. Dominic Savio Church in Garobadha. The nature of the incidents shows that the same gang is going around and doing the robberies and the incidents are happening during the power cut time,” a concerned Catholic Church mentioned in a statement on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the priests have also pointed out that in all four cases of robbery in the parishes, the incidents have taken place shortly after the conclusion of the annual sobha or religious gathering in their respective areas. In those gatherings, several thousand faithful congregate for a week of religious events.

“The style and timing of the incidents were very similar at all four places. The attack at Loyola Parish took place after the conclusion of the Sobha in the town. Similarly, the incidents at Chokpot and Dalu took place after the local religious events had concluded,” informed fathers from the Bishop’s house in Tura.

It is strongly believed that the gangs may have been eyeing the religious donations and contributions normally made by believers to the church during such religious events and a well connected network of criminals may have planned the midnight heists at the four parishes.

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