Suspected Hindu extremists have demolished the wall of a Catholic mission hospital and manhandled staff, including nuns, in the latest incident in Madhya Pradesh state, considered a hotbed of anti-Christian violence in central India.

Ucanews.com reported that 60 people, with the help of a bulldozer, razed the boundary wall of 44-year-old Pushpa Mission Hospital in the town of Ujjain on March 12. They blocked its emergency entrance and destroyed equipment, including power generators.

The hospital has been facing trouble since January after Gagan Singh, the personal assistant of a local legislator, staked a claim over disputed land in front of the hospital, said Fr Anthony Pulickamandapam, the hospital director.

The dispute has gone to court after members of the BJP, the party that runs the state government, attempted to take over the land on January 27, accusing the Church of illegally occupying the site.

Fr Pulickamandapam said the attackers came armed with a bulldozer and sharp-edged weapons. They demolished the boundary wall, erected a fence and put up some makeshift shops to claim the land.

“Our staff, including Catholic nuns, who attempted to resist the advance were manhandled and forced to flee for safety,” he told ucanews.com. “They also destroyed the backup power generator and disconnected the water supply, putting the lives of nearly 200 patients – including 12 in the intensive care unit – in serious danger.”

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