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Attack on school triggers panic

The Roman Catholic diocese of Bhagalpur has requested the state government to ensure security for the community following the recent attack on a missionary institute in Banka by some criminals who identified themselves as Maoists.

On the night of December 15, the criminals raided Charkapattar Holy Family Mission in the Jaipur area of Banka district, around 355km east of Patna, and looted Rs 62,000 and other valuables from the home. They also assaulted Father Mani and Sister Joshi of the mission.

“All missionaries in this part of Bihar are scared following the Charkapattar Holy Mission incident. The government should ensure proper security to the missionaries active in the remote areas of this part of the state,” Father Varghese Panangatt, the principal of local St Joseph’s School in Bhagalpur, said on Tuesday.

He added that the Bhagalpur diocese would soon conduct a meting to finalise their future strategy.

More than 800 students from impoverished background study in the Charkapattar Holy Mission, a charitable school that provides education up to Class VIII.

“The authorities of the mission help the residents of the area in many ways, including providing education to our children,” said Buddhu Soren, a resident of Jaipur village.

Banka deputy superintendent of police said investigation was on and patrolling has been intensified in areas where the missionaries are active.

In 2006, criminals had raided the Charkapatthar mission and looted Rs 1 lakh meant for the construction of a church on the premises of the institute.