» 07/17/2014, 00.00
Chhattisgarh, Christians targeted by Hindu radicals: Out by August or pay dearly
The threat comes from the militants of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a radical Hindu organization close to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It is the latest attack on a Christian community in the district of Bastar, a tribal majority.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "Out of your villages by August
1, or suffer the consequences": This is the threat delivered by the militants
of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a
radical Hindu organization, to the Christian communities of Gaiya and Parapur in
the district Bastar, the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. Sajan K. George,
president of the Global Council of Indian
Christians (GCIC), who has appealed to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the National Commission for Minorities (NCM),
"to defend and preserve the religious freedom of Christians in
This intimidation is just the latest in a series of
attacks in Chhattisgarh by ultra-nationalist Hindu groups against minority
communities. And the Bastar district, a rural area in tribal majority state, is
the scene of the worst discrimination.
On 6 July, the council (gram sabha) of
the village of Belar banned
religious activities that do not belong to the Hindu tradition. On June
26, the gram sabha of more than 35
entry to people who are not Hindus, to prevent them from "damaging
the culture and religion of the community. On June 16, in another district of
Chhattisgarh a group of Christian families was targeted
and beaten by Hindu fundamentalists.
"In addition to
prohibiting non- Hindu prayers and religious activities - Sajan George told AsiaNews - there seems to be a social
boycott of Christian villagers, some of whom have also been denied basic
amenities including rations. The Chhattisgarh government must act to protect the
constitutional rights of the Christian minority."
The VHP is part of the Sangh Parivar umbrella of Hindu fundamentalist organizations responsible for violence and attacks against ethnic
and religious minorities in India. The political arm of these associations is
the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the
Hindu ultra-nationalist party currently in government - with Narendra Modi as Prime
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