property rights

Madhya Pradesh: BJP workers damage hospital run by Catholic church, accusing it of encroachment

Church spokesperson claimed that the group broke a wall, assaulted nurses who tried to stop them. BJP legislator says portion of hospital is on private land.

The Catholic church in Madhya Pradesh alleged that Bharatiya Janata Party workers damaged a missionary hospital run by its administration and attacked its personnel, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday.

Ujjain’s BJP MP and party spokesperson Chintamani Malviya, however, claimed that the Pushpa Mission Hospital had encroached on private property owned by his family. The MP said the workers had demolished an unauthorised structure, but refuted allegations that they attacked the nurses.

The church’s public relations officer in Madhya Pradesh, Father Maria Stephen, alleged that a group of people, on March 12, tore down the hospital’s compound wall and gate, damaged a generator and disrupted power and water supply before putting up a metal fence within the hospital’s premises. The church also accused the local police of turning a blind eye to the incident.

A video of the purported incident surfaced on social media showing masked men demolishing the paved floor within the hospital compound.

The BJP legislator alleged that the church had lost the case in connection with the land in the High Court and lower courts, and that the owner had demolished the unauthorised construction after the district magistrate had demarcated the areas owned by both parties. Malviya accused the church of using its minority status to claim undue advantage.

He submitted a memorandum signed by his father against the hospital administration to Governor Anandiben Patel, while a delegation led by the Bishop of Ujjain met her to express their concern about the incident. The Archbishop of Bhopal, Leo Cornelio, also condemned the attack and described it as a “systematic planning to create disturbance and violence”.

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