Elderly women attacked for conducting prayer meetings

In another instance of violence against senior citizens, MIDC police arrested two people for assaulting 61-year-old Victoria Shiri for conducting prayer meetings in her house in Marol, Andheri (East). The two persons arrested -- Shashikant Shinde (47) and Gangadhar Khaire (40) -- reside next door to Shiri and are alleged to have assaulted Shiri and Sushila Singh while they were in a prayer meeting. The two accused were irate at the frequent prayer meetings conducted at Shiri's house.

Shiri has been conducting prayer meetings at her residence for the last seven years. On Sunday night her neighbours started hurling abuses at the people who gathered at her house. "When the people were leaving, the neighbours started shouting and abusing us. When we tried to restrain them, they got more aggressive," said Shiri. 

Pious: Victoria Shiri has been conducting prayer meets for 6 years

"We have arrested the two neighbours under Sections 323, 504, and 506 of the IPC and were released on bail later," said Senior Police Inspector Suresh Hujband from MIDC police station.

"The neighbours complained that they (Shiri's group) pray loudly during the meetings. As one of the arrested neighbour's son studies in Std X , the neighbours objected to the prayer meet, which led to a verbal fight," added Hujband.

Shiri alleged that the two accused physically abused them too. "They kicked Singh in the stomach and hit me too. Other members of the congregation who came for the meeting were also verbally abused," said Shiri.  She further added, "I did not expect this, and we have decided to shift our meetings to a hall next year. I stay alone and security is a major issue. They didn't think twice before hitting me in front of so many people," she said.

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