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  • » 08/22/2011, 00.00

    INDIA

    Hindu radicals ransack churches, beat up clergyman in Karnataka

    Nirmala Carvalho

    For two Sundays in a row, Mass service was disrupted. Yesterday, a clergyman was roughed up and arrested on false forced conversion charges. For Global Council of Indian Christians president Sajan K George, “The aggressors walk free. Sixty-four years since independence, religious freedom does not exist in states like Karnataka, Orissa and Gujarat. This is a serious blot on secular India.”
    Mudhol (Asia News) – In Karnataka, Rev Sangappa Hosamani Shadrak, 28, a resident of Mudhol, was attacked by 20 radical Hindu activists from the Bajrang Dal. The incident occurred yesterday when the clergyman was celebrating Sunday Mass in the home of a parishioner, Yellappa Hosamani, in the village of Rohi, some 10 kilometres from the clergyman’s own home. In recent years, he had held had regular Sunday service in the village.

    When extremists attacked the small Christian community, they desecrated the bread and wine used during the celebration and badly beat up Rev Shadrak, who lost a tooth and was seriously hurt to the face. After the initial attack, he was taken to another village, Latte, where he was tied to a tree. His attackers then left him and called police in Lokapura.

    Accompanied by a few agents, Inspector Choudhary freed the clergyman and took him, and some of his parishioners, to a police station. Rev Shadrak was eventually sent to Jamkotai prison for detention on unspecified charges, this despite attempts by the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) to have him released.

    GCIC president Sajan K George slammed the arrest. “Attacks against Christians continue despite promises made by the new chief minister, Sadananda Gowda, who has always had good and cordial relations with the Christian community. The latter backed him but it continues to be vulnerable and suffer persecution by Hindutva extremists.”

    Sajan K George said that for two Sundays in a row, Mass was disrupted. Pentecostal clergymen have been insulted and roughed up. The church has been ransacked and false charges of conversion laid against innocent people.

    “The aggressors walk free. Sixty-four years since independence, religious freedom does not exist in states like Karnataka, Orissa and Gujarat. This is a serious blot on secular India.”

    The GCIC is also worried about a new campaign launched by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). The Hindu extremist Hindu group has come out against a draft law on ‘Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence’.

    VHP leader Pravin Togadia said the law would make police “subservient to minority communities”. He accuses the National Advisory Council chaired by Sonia Gandhi of being anti-Hindu.

    In reality, the law is designed to give the central government the power to declare a state of “internal disturbance” whenever sectarian violence breaks out.
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    See also

    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.

    10/10/2008 INDIA
    Indian activist: Massacre of Christians planned in advance
    Lenin Raghuvanshi has visited Orissa as a member of a fact-finding team established by the European commission for the prevention of torture. Hindu radicals have a program for expunging Christians from the region and reconverting tribals and pariahs to Hinduism.

    28/03/2015 INDIA
    Protestant leader demands protection during Holy Week from radical Hindu attacks
    Violence against individual Christians and Churches continues unabated. Near Agra, a group of Protestants, who met to pray for an elderly woman, were beaten and accused of trying to convert the family.

    06/02/2009 INDIA
    Orissa: Hindu temple being built atop rubble of Batticola church
    Hindu radicals had previously tried to destroy it in 2000. The situation remains tense. Christians are humiliated and marginalized, unless they convert to Hinduism.

    16/09/2008 INDIA
    More anti-Christian violence in Orissa; school attacked in Kerala
    A Christian has been killed and dozens of homes have been burned. Police are clashing with Hindu militants. The tension is spreading in Kerala, and remains high in Karnataka, where the government is accused of conniving with the fundamentalists.



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