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Indian Catholic school and priest attacked

Vemilion forcibly applied on school principal Jaimon Joseph (on left). He was coerced into wearing a saffron scarf and chant Jai Shri Ram (on right). Photo: X/ Mohammed Zubair

Almost a thousand Hindus attacked a Catholic school and assaulted a priest in Kannepally, South Indian State of Andhra Pradesh, on April 16, 2024.

Father Jaimon Joseph, the principal of St. Mother Teresa School in Kannepally, a village in the Mancherial district, found some students wearing Hunaman Deeksha, a Hindu religious clothing, in school.

He asked their parents for an explanation; it was part of a 21-day special religious ritual on April 15th. A student recorded a video of the priest and shared it with Hindu men.

A hardline Hindu vandalized the school, broke glass windows and flower pots while chanting “Jai Shri Ram” (hail lord Ram), and pelted stones on the statue of St. Teresa at the main gates. They even staged a sit-in inside the school premises.

“Some of them slapped and threw punches at me while others attacked me from behind,” the priest, a member of the Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament (MCBS), told UCA News.

The Hindu mob wrongfully accused the school management of not permitting Hindu students to wear their religious clothes.

Someone uploaded the recorded video of Fr. Joseph to social media, which led to nearly 1000 people vandalizing the school.

The priest claims that despite filing a complaint against the mob, no arrests have yet taken place.

On the contrary, the police have gone ahead and registered a case against the school for hurting religious sentiments.

Father Joseph is persistent that “legal recourse will be taken to deal with the case.”


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.