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Jabalpur Church Attack: 6 Arrested, Granted Bail Within an Hour All India

JABALPUR, MADHYA PRADESH:  Six people have been arrested after activists of a Hindu fringe group were caught on camera vandalizing a church in Madhya Pradesh's Jabalpur.

The men, including the chief of the group, were identified from CCTV footage and by tribals who were staying in the church at the time and were attacked.

They were reportedly summoned by the police just after midnight on Sunday, but let off after they spent an hour at the police station.

CCTV footage showed the attackers smashing plant pots, breaking down doors and shattering windows in the grounds of the cathedral late on Friday.

The right-wing Hindu Dharma Sena group had accused the church of converting around 200 people from local tribal groups to Christianity, although it denies causing any damage to church property.

According to church authorities, the activists also attacked some 200 tribals who had come for a three-day bible convention and were sleeping in a hall in the cathedral.

The church has denied the allegation that it was converting the tribals. It claims that those who attended the convention were Christians.

The latest attack comes at a time of heightened sensitivity over religious freedom in India, where churches and a Christian school have been attacked in recent months.

"I will go to any extent to protect minorities. I will do everything to end the sense of insecurity prevailing among minorities," Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today.

On Saturday, masked men attacked a church in Mumbai and earlier this month, a 72-year-old nun was raped at a convent school in West Bengal, triggering protests across the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month pledged to crack down on religious violence and ensure freedom of worship for all faiths.

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