Pair of Convents Attacked in Bihar

BETTIAH, India, JUNE 13, 2005 ( Two nuns were injured in apparent robbery attempts at two convents in the Indian state of Bihar.

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The attack occurred around midnight last Thursday. An elderly nun was hospitalized with serious head injuries after a gang of 15 men attacked the Notre Dame convent at Raxual. The convent comes under the Diocese of Bettiah.

The same night, the convent of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth at Sokho in the Bhagalpur Diocese was attacked. No further details were available on that incident.

A Sister Manjula of Notre Dame was with two other nuns and their maid when the assailants entered the convent, breaking open the gate and doors.

«They asked for money,» Father Henry Fernando of the Diocese of Bettiah told the newspaper Indian Catholic.

He said that the assailants beat the elderly nun so severely that they broke one of her ribs.

Bishop Victor Thakur of Bettiah visited the convent and the injured nun in the hospital, according to the priest.

Another woman religious sustained minor injuries, added Father Fernando.

Diocesan officials have filed a complaint with police. The attack on the convents is the latest in a series of assaults on priests and nuns working in Bihar.

Last April, Father Matthew Uzhuthal, 72, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Patna, was stabbed. He died of his wounds May 1.

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