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  • » 06/09/2012, 00.00

    INDIA

    Armed Hindu extremists attack Christian funeral in Chhattisgarh

    Nirmala Carvalho

    The incident took place on 6 June in Bacheli, Bastar District. Nine members of a Protestant Church were injured. Police did not intervene. Global Council of Indian Christian President Sajan George expresses his outrage.

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Anti-Christian violence continues in Chhattisgarh, a state ruled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). On Wednesday, armed Hindu extremists attacked a group of Christians from the Bastar Christ Movement Church in Bacheli (Bastar District) where they were celebrating the funeral of the daughter of Rev Shankarlal Karma, head of the congregation.

    The incident occurred at 8.30 am. According to some eyewitnesses, the group of radical Hindus approached the funeral procession armed with knives and sticks and began insulting the hundred or so Christians present at the event.

    When the mourners were close to the cemetery, the extremists attacked them, forcing people to flee. In order to prevent the rite, the fanatics filled in the grave.

    Incapable of maintaining security, police convinced the family of the dead teenager to bury her in the Christian cemetery of the town of Bacheli.

    After the service, Rev Shankarlal Karma filed a complaint with the local police station. So far, agents have identified ten people involved in the attack.

    Since 3 August 2006, Chhattisgarh has had an anti-conversion law requiring would-be converts to communicate their intention to a district magistrate. Anyone violating this rule could be fined 50-100,000 rupees and be sentenced up to three years in prison.

    The same thing applies to anyone involved in "forced conversions".

    Global Council of Indian Christians president Sajan George said the law is a bane on the state's Christian communities.

    "Hindu extremists use it to harass religious minorities," he said. The BJP administration has done nothing to stop acts of violence and allows fanatics to attack Christians and destroy their churches and properties.

     

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    See also

    26/04/2012 INDIA
    Hindu nationalist governments do not protect Christians
    Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), highlights the problem. More anti-Christian attacks are reported in the states of Chhattisgarh and Karnataka, which are governed by the Hindu nationalist NJP. Anti-conversion laws and lack of justice have created a climate of terror for Christians.

    20/01/2009 INDIA
    Widow of Graham Staines: "Do not give up hope, pray for India"
    10 years ago in Orissa, Hindu extremists burned alive the Christian Graham Staines and his two sons. His wife, back in India, connects the recent anti-Christian persecution to her husband. To the many recent widows of Kandhamal, she speaks of forgiveness and strength "in Christ."

    26/11/2008 INDIA
    Orissa, tally following 3 months of violence against Christians
    118 deaths have been certified, but it is feared that there have been at least 500, with many bodies being hidden or cremated. More than 54,000 have been displaced. The violence continues, although with less frequency, in part because of the impunity enjoyed by the attackers.

    03/09/2013 INDIA
    New anti-Christian violence in Karnataka, but religious freedom non-negotiable for Sajan George
    The Christian leader slams three new attacks in August. Despite changes in the state government, the influence of the Hindu ultra-nationalists Bharatiya Janata Party continues to cause acts of anti-Christian violence and boycotts.

    25/08/2011 INDIA
    Hindu radicals threaten more anti-Christian pogroms in Karnataka
    According to the Prashanti Human Rights Centre, Christians in this state fear a repeat of the 2008 violence. Police engages in ambiguous behaviour as it keeps files on Protestant clergyman.



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