Archbishop Leo Cornelio, the Archbishop of Bhopal and Chairman of the Madhya Pradesh
Regional Bishops’ Council, Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, Secretary General, Catholic Bishops’
Conference of India, (CBCI), Bishop Chacko Thottumarickal, Bishop of Indore, along with Bishop
Sebastian Vadakel, Bishop of Ujjain, visited the Pushpa mission hospital on 15th March 2018.
The hospital recently came under a dastardly and inhuman attack on 12th March 2018, by goondas and
anti-social elements enjoying political and financial clout. The 200 bed Pushpa Mission Hospital and Maternity Home, run by the Diocese of Ujjain, has been rendering around the clock, quality medical services to the people of Ujjain and surrounding rural areas since the last 44 years. Most of the patients come from the deprived, marginalized and poor sections of society who would not be able to
afford health care without this hospital. Thousands of patients visit the hospital every day and are ministered to without distinction of class, creed or religion.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, the Madhya Pradesh Regional Bishops’ Council and the
Syro Malabar Catholic Diocese of Ujjain with deep pain, anguish and concern condemn the
unfortunate violent acts against the Pushpa Mission Hospital & Maternity Home in Ujjain. The
incident in Ujjain has the tarnished the image of the State of Madhya Pradesh and of India.
On Monday, 12th March 2018, Mr. Gagan Singh, S/o Neellam Singh, and a mob of nearly 60 people
armed with chains and other weapons entered forcefully the Pushpa Mission Hospital compound, destroying the boundary wall with the help of 2 JCBs. They have blocked access to the hospital and to the emergency department of the hospital, dug trenches and blocked entry to the generators, power supply and water supply apparatus, thus placing at great risk the life and safety of innocent and helpless patients. The shameless and ruthless mob abused the lady staff, and nuns, in the filthiest language possible and also assaulted them physically. The police did notappear on the scene with the ostensible reason that they were busy with the visit of the Honourable Governor of Madhya Pradesh to Ujjain.
The Diocese of Ujjain and Pushpa Mission hospital have made written complaints to the police and
have also approached relevant government authorities for protection against such atrocities and bullying but the inaction of the administration is worrisome and disturbing.
The Catholic Church has since 1961 (nearly 57 years) unchallenged ownership of the land on which the Hospital is built. Forces aided by powerful political powers have been at play to dispute and demand ownership of the land. The ownership of a part of the land has been suddenly challenged
and is since then sub judice and we await the judgment of the Court. However, some antisocial and
Anti-national elements have been creating disturbances in the area. The incidents of March 12 follow
earlier attacks on the hospital on 27th, 28th and 30th January 2018 when mobs of rowdy people, had
appeared outside the hospital, shouting, misbehaving and disturbing the hospital and even
preventing the ambulances from carrying critically ill patients from entering the hospital premises.
The Catholic Church condemns unequivocally the mobocracy that is represented by the incidents at the Catholic hospital in Ujjain. It may be recalled that earlier in December 2017, Catholic
Priests and Seminarians were targeted by mobs in Satna for carol singing and St. Mary’s college in
Vidisha was under attack in January 2018, by extremist right wing groups that demanded forcible worship of the Mother India goddess (Bharat Mata goddess). This is the third incident in the last three months when violent mobs have targeted Catholic institutions in areas with a very small minority of helpless Catholics. The Diocese of Ujjain has a small, innocent and peace loving Christian minority, which is however rendering immense services in the fields of Education and healthcare and Social Welfare to the remote areas. Inaction from the Police and Government
authorities does not augur well for the good reputation of our beloved country that boasts of being
the largest democracy in the world.
We call upon the State and the Union governments to immediately bring to task the culprits and to
ensure that the rule of law prevails. Neither the State of Madhya Pradesh nor the Union Government can afford to allow mobs to take the law into their own hands. The use of political muscle and
arrogant display of violent might is nothing but goondaism, terrorism and anti-nationalism.
We condemn the acts of violence, terror, intimidation and forceful trespass, as these actions pose a
threat to the well being and future of our beloved nation. We pray that good sense may prevail and
that all of us may continue to live freely and without fear in our country according to the law,
regardless of our religion, region, language or any other such factor.
God bless India .
Archbishop Leo Cornelio SVD Bishop Sebastian Vadakel, MST
Archbishop of Bhopal &Chairman Bishop of Ujjain
Madhya Pradesh Regional Bishops’ Council
Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas SFX
Secretary General, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India