Compassion centers close down after two men are shot

By February 14, 2011

India (MNN) — Last week, two people were killed in protests involving the Gorkha separatist movement in West Bengal, India.

Protests and strikes involving the Nepali Gorkha separatists are not uncommon. The Nepali-speaking group's attempts to form their own state inside India have stirred West Bengal before.

During this particular protest, Gorkha separatists were rallying when police opened fire, says The Independent. The Associated Press says police claim they were acting out of self-defense. They were attacked after charging 500 supporters with sticks.

Police gunned down two men, and reports say up to 20 others, including seven policemen, were injured throughout the clashes.

Following the shootings, rioters rushed the streets and rampaged the area. Several reports have indicated that government property was damaged, and a police van and a some buildings were lit on fire.

Compassion International says the national highway has been closed off, and the famous Darjeeling tea production has been suspended.

Compassion reported the protests because the riots have affected three Compassion-assisted child development centers. The centers are temporarily closed for the safety of the children. Thankfully, there have been no reports that any Compassion-assisted children were harmed.

Pray that these protests would be peacefully resolved and that Compassion centers could go on as usual. Pray that the Lord would use the children and the Compassion staff to be a light to those involved, as well as frightened neighbors, who may be ready to turn to a stable and loving God.

If you sponsor a child in the West Bengal area who has been affected, Compassion will contact you. If you would like to sponsor a child in this impoverished region of the world, click here.

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