Karnataka, two Christian communities attacked in the district of Hassan
by Nirmala Carvalho
Ultra-nationalist Hindu Bajrang Dal activists accuse the Christians (still in prison) of forced conversions. Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "Deliberate and well planned attacks. Apparent collusion between government and Hindu extremists. " 40 incidents of anti-Christian violence in Karnataka, this year.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Activists of the Bajrang Dal (Hindu ultra-nationalist movement) have attacked members of two different Christian communities, engaged in a prayer service, accusing them of practicing forced conversions. The episodes took place last November 12 and 13 in the district of Hassan (Karnataka). The assaulted Christians are still in prison. This brings to 40 attacks against the Christian community of the state in 2011. "Two incidents in two days - said Sajan K George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) - belie every promise made to the Christian community by the chief minister of Karnataka, a member of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). Collusion between the government of the BJP and the Sangh Parivar is very real, the attacks are deliberate and meticulously planned. As long as these movements escape the harsh measures of the Indian criminal justice system, violence will continue. "
Since 2008 the Government of Karnataka has been led by the BJP, a party that supports ultra-nationalist groups and movements of Hindu extremists belonging to the wide umbrella group of the Sangh Parivar like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajarang Dal, responsible for numerous episodes of violence, anti-Christian persecution and discrimination that occur in India.
On 13 November, the pastor H.S. Nagaraj, of the Church of Immanuel Prarthanalaya in Arkalgud, had just started the Sunday service, when ten of the Bajrang Dal activists stormed the Church, interrupted prayer and tore the Bibles to pieces. Within a short time the local police also arrived, who arrested the pastor and three faithful, Shivanna, Ravi and Chandrashekar. The Christians are still in prison.
A day earlier, on 12, a similar incident happened. Six faithful of the Ministry of Bethel Church - a woman with a four year old son, the women Padmavathy and Gangamma and men Raju and Varu Chakravarthy - waiting for the bus at Belur station, after a prayer service. Suddenly, ten activists of the Bajrang Dal surrounded them, asking them what they were doing in the city and insulting them. After beating the two men, they led the entire group to Harehally police station, where police issued an arrest warrant for the six Christians. Thanks to the GCIC, the three women and child were released, but men are still in prison.
The president of the GCIC warns: "Is public worship a crime in secular India? What happened to religious freedom guaranteed by our Constitution? Is BJP allowed not to respect the constitutional guarantees of citizens of India, or the Christian minority - a community set in a Hindu majority - not to have access to the rights and privileges enshrined in art. 25 of the Constitution? ".
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