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03 February 2006

India : Extremists, Police Beat Christians in Madhya Pradesh

CWNews.com Hindu extremists armed with sticks, rods and other sharp weapons gate-crashed a Christian seminar held in a private home in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh on Saturday morning (January 28). Six Christians were

rushed to a hospital with serious injuries following the assault, while at least 12 others, some of them children, suffered relatively minor injuries.


The attack was the fourth incident in as many days in the state.


Compass sources said around 60 members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pelted the house with stones and accused the Christians of forced conversion before rushing into the house where the day-long seminar was being held.


The assault left Pastor Sam Francis, who had organized the seminar, with fractures in his hands and legs, while guest speaker Kishore Sadhwani suffered a broken hand and a head injury requiring eight stitches. Witnesses said he vomited blood after the attack.


Christian evangelists Majit Masih, Lal Chand and Ivan Pereira also sustained serious injuries.


Local media published a police statement claiming only minor injuries were received.


Friday: Prayer Meeting Attacked

On Friday morning (January 27), Hindu extremists attacked three pastors and about 20 lay Christians attending a prayer meeting at the home of Freddie Prakash in Govindpur district.


Someone threw a stone at a window at about 9:30 a.m., then a mob of around 30 extremists barged into the house and started beating those present with sticks.


The Rev. S. V. Francis, who was leading the meeting, suffered serious injuries to a hand and leg. A visiting pastor from Nagpur district was beaten around the head, while another pastor received injuries to his head and hand.


Thursday: Christian Leaders Arrested

On Thursday (January 26), three leaders from the Church of the Nazarene were arrested on charges of attempting to forcibly convert 23 tribal villagers from Dindori, a district close to Jabalpur.


The villagers had stopped overnight at the Gurudev lodge in the Madam Mahal area of Jabalpur on their way to a Church of the Nazarene Christian convention in neighboring Maharashtra state.


Sudhir Agarwal, leader of the Dharam Raksha Samiti (DRS or Religion Defense Platform, closely allied with the RSS) tipped off the police, who raided the lodge in order to scare the Christians away from the convention. Joining the police was a large mob of Hindu neighbors, who beat the Christians even as the police tried to register a case against them.


Members of the RSS and DRS were in the crowd, shouting anti-Christian slogans.


Police inspector Siddarth Chaudhary ordered the arrest of Pravin Pawar, Sanat Pawar and Maclin Masih, three Nazarene church leaders who were accompanying the villagers to the convention. The men were booked under the state anti-conversion law.


Police also confiscated Christian literature, church documents and the villagers’ bus tickets.


Chaudhary later denied reports that Christians were beaten during the raid.


Local media claimed the 23 villagers were being taken by force or fraudulent means to the convention; some reports claimed the villagers were offered money or lured with promises of a sightseeing tour.


When Indira Iyengar, a member of the Madhya Pradesh State Minority Commission, asked a senior police official to explain how three Christians were able to force 23 villagers to travel against their will, the officer did not reply.


Wednesday: Two Pastors Attacked

On Wednesday morning, a group of policemen entered a Christian home in Chapri village, Jhabua, where a prayer meeting was about to begin. Witnesses said they beat up two tribal pastors who were present.


The names of the victims were Pastor Rai Singh Amblia, of the Philadelphia Church of Chapri, in whose home the meeting was held, and co-Pastor Hatehsingh Rawat.


After beating them, the police took both men to the police station and repeatedly threatened them with dire consequences if they continued to meet for prayer or any other kind of Christian activity.


The men were held in custody for four hours. Policemen repeatedly punched them in the stomach and neck, causing injuries severe enough to require medical treatment.


When the pastors arrived at the hospital on Thursday, however, staff demanded a police letter before they would give medical assistance.


The victims named several policemen whom they said were present or took part in the assault, including sub-inspector Samrath Devanji.


“The manner in which Christians in Jhabua are being targeted almost systematically is shocking,” said Iyengar, of the state minority commission, shortly after the incident last Wednesday. “It is becoming a regular affair, and almost no protection is being offered by the government.”


16:25 Posted in INDIA | Permalink | Comments (1) |  Facebook |


Soon both Pakistan and India will fight to the death

Posted by: frank | 07 February 2006

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