- A group of nearly 20 masked people attacked those attending the prayer
- Women forced the attackers to back off by throwing chilly powder on them
- The government is yet to comment on the matter
A congregation at prayer in Maharashtra's Kolhapur was attacked ahead of Christmas on Sunday. A group of nearly 20 masked people had attacked the group, who had gathered at the home of a local at Kowad village -- located on the Karnataka border -- when Sunday prayers were in progress.
Twelve people were injured, some of them seriously. Four people have been admitted in the local hospital.
A group of around 15 men, who came on motorcycles around noon, had tried to barge into the house of one Bhimsen Chauhan when the service was in progress.
Armed with swords, iron rods and glass bottles, they threw stones on those attending the prayer and tried to barge into the house. But some women, who were part of the prayer meet, forced the attackers to back off by throwing chilly powder on them, reported news agency Press Trust of India.
A case has been filed and investigations are on, the police said. The government is yet to comment on the matter.
In March 2015, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had given a 48-hour deadline to the police after a church in Mumbai was attacked. Security cameras had shown masked men throwing stones at the church.
It was part of a spate of attacks on churches, convent schools and Christian buildings across several states, including Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. A 71-year-old nun was raped at a convent in Bengal.
"I will go to any extent to protect minorities. I will do everything to end the sense of insecurity prevailing among minorities," Union home minister Rajnath Singh had said.
With inputs from agencies