Section 144 imposed after clashes, attack on church in Janwada village

According to police, a fight broke out between two parties at around 8 pm on Tuesday on the issue of road widening.

Updated - February 15, 2024 07:28 am IST

Published - February 14, 2024 11:32 am IST - HYDERABAD 

The ransacked premises of Methodist Church, Janwada, after the riot late on February 13.

The ransacked premises of Methodist Church, Janwada, after the riot late on February 13. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

After overnight group clashes in Janwada village in which 11 persons were injured, the Cyberabad Commissioner of Police Avinash Mohanty imposed Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) prohibiting gathering of five or more persons.

The prohibitory orders will be in force for a full week, starting the noon on February 14 till 11 p.m. on February 21 (Wednesday).

As many as 14 people suffered injuries in the clashes involving two parties in Janwada of Shankarpally mandal in Rangareddy district.

According to Mokila police inspector B Veera Babu: “The fight broke out between the two parties at around 8 pm on Tuesday on the issue of road widening. The villagers asked to widen the road while the members of the church protested calling it encroaching on their land.”

Telangana United Christian Pastors Association (TUCPA) general secretary Goneh Solomon Raj, who along with a delegation of Christian leaders visited the victims at the hospital, said the clashes erupted over laying a cement road that reportedly passed through the church premises.

“The villagers wanted to extend eight feet into the church’s land, and an argument rose between between the village sarpanch, Mandal Praja Parishad (MPP), the Ward members and the members of the church,” he said, and added that the road in front of the church was 20-25 feet wide.

“A large mob barged into the church and started to attack the congregation of about 30 people with stones, cement bricks and sticks, and broke the church doors. A girl was also injured on her face in the attack,” he said.

Out of the 14 people who sustained injuries in the church, three men suffered head injuries and were rushed to the Government Hospital in Kondapur and later shifted to Gandhi Hospital, Secunderabad.

After multiple stitches on their head, they were said to be stable and kept under observation at a private hospital in Narsingi.

Mokila police informed that the accused were booked under provisions of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, under the IPC. S 143 (unlawful assembly), S. 147 and 148 (Rioting), S. 224 (resistance or obstruction to arrest), and S. 503 (criminal intimidation).

It was learnt that the village leaders also made a counter complaint against the church members before the Mokila police.

Tension prevailed at Janwada during the day as the church members staged a protest at the village crossroads on the Shankerpally highway demanding arrest of all the people involved in the attack.

Later in the evening, Telangana Minority Commission vice chairman B. Shanker Luke visited the church at the village and met the victims. Prof. Gali Vinod Kumar, Dr. Nataniel, Rajeev Sagar, Cooption Member Malaki Ratnama and others were present.

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