Officials in India Demolish Christian School and Other Ministry Buildings Before Seizing Children

Officials in Eastern India demolished a Christian school, dormitory building and the home of its founder before seizing at least a dozen children affiliated with the ministry.

The leader of the school that educated over 250 children near the village of Lichapeta in Odisha state told the Christian persecution watchdog website Morning Star News that Hindu radicals persuaded a local government official to demolish buildings owned by the Christian ministry on May 13.

According to the school’s founder, Vijay Kumar Pusuru, a district official was incited by misinformation spread by the Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to send about 50 people to demolish the school, his home, and the ministry hostel building that housed around 100 children.

Pusuru added that child protective agency officials then came on May 21 to take into custody six orphans and six other fatherless children served by the ministry. He said the children were taken as they “wept bitterly” and pleaded not to be forced to leave the property.

“They caught hold of branches and trees,” Pusuru explained. “But ruthlessly they were snatched and taken away.”

“I told them [the officials] that the reason they are officers today is because they got an opportunity to study and that they should give that opportunity to these tribal children, but no one listened to me,” Pusuru told Morning Star News. “They would be running around the village wasting their lives, and nobody cared about them.”

Pusuru said the school, which opened in 2015, was the only one within a radius of 62 miles that provided English-language education.

Since Pusuru’s home and the ministry’s hostel building were destroyed, the Pusuru family and the children they served were forced to live under a tree, he said. They continue to live under the tree today.

Pusuru said that the application he filed with the local government revenue office to open the school has gone missing after a Hindu leader opened his own school in the area about a year-and-a-half ago.

Pusuru explained that the officer who granted him the land allotment has since been transferred to a new office.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith