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    » 06/14/2011, 00.00

    INDIA

    Karnataka: Three Christians arrested on false charges of forced conversions

    Nirmala Carvalho

    The men were donating clothes, food and shelter to 70 lepers. Twenty Hindu activists stormed the premises and called the police who took the men away without listening to them or the sick. Sajan K George (Global Council of Indian Christians): "Yet another stain on the history of India, the state must guarantee the safety of the Christian minority."

    Bangalore (AsiaNews) - Hennur police have arrested three men on false charges of forced conversions in Karnataka, reported by 20 Hindu activists. According to police, the men brought about 70 lepers from Dharmapuri (Tamil Nadu) to Bangalore. The Deputy Commissioner N Narasimhaiah said: "The three Christians offered food, clothing, shelter to the sick, before teaching them certain prayers and other Christian religious rites." For Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), it is "yet another stain on the history of secular India." The GCIC has petitioned the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Department for Social Assistance, to demand the release of three men.

    "The state must guarantee the safety of the Christian minority, vulnerable to the continuing intimidation and violence justified in the name of religion, of far-right groups," says Sajan George. The Christian community in Karnataka is increasingly being targeted by Hindu radicals since May 2008 when the BJP (Bharatiya Janatha Party, ultra-nationalist Hindu party) came to power. While Christians are systematically taken into custody, interrogated and accused of various crimes by Hindu radicals, their attackers roam about on the loose. "Justice is not pursuing those committing the crimes - reiterates the GCIC president - only innocent Christians suffer humiliation and arrests."

    Like every year, Henry Baptist Reuben, a Catholic, had organized a day of service to the lepers in his house, in which he distributes clothes, food and other household items. In the early afternoon, a local Hindu raided his home with 20 other activists, accusing Reuben and his family of forced conversions. The Catholic was not even allowed to explain the situation, before the Hindus called the Hennur police station. Inspector Hanumantharayappa arrived quickly, taking Reuben and two lepers away under section 295-A of the Penal Code, for "injury to religious feelings."

    Sajan K George criticizes the work of law enforcement: "The police even ignored the cries of the sick who are present there, who tried in every possible way to explain that it was a regular annual activity in which they received help and there was no attempt to force them to convert. "

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    See also

    16/12/2008 INDIA
    Calcutta: Christmas of the Missionaries of Charity, among AIDS patients
    In the "House of Peace," the love of God is experienced through work in contact with the suffering. The drama of the disease becomes an occasion of redemption. The religious of Mother Teresa are celebrating Christmas by praying for the persecuted Christians in Orissa.

    04/11/2011 INDIA
    Bishops ask Karnataka chief minister for justice for arrested Christians
    A delegation led by the Archbishop of Bangalore repeats request to close the cases of 150 young Christians under investigation to the State's Prime Minister. In Karnataka, the persecution continues, with the complicity of the police. 37 cases of aggression recorded since the beginning of the year.

    27/01/2011 INDIA
    Radical Hindu involved in Orissa pogrom back in jail
    The High Court of India has cancelled the release on bail granted by a court of Orissa. Manoj Pradhan had been convicted of two murders, is on trial for three others, which during the pogroms of 2008 in Orissa.

    19/11/2009 INDIA
    Attack on a church in Karnataka. 56th case in 2009
    Entrance doors ripped off, windows and furniture destroyed, cross also ripped off the top of the building. The President of the Global Council of Indian Christians: "The wave of incidents against Christians is increasing in Karnataka and other states ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). There is a climate of "growing religious intolerance”.

    18/02/2011 INDIA
    Fasting and sit-ins, bishops and faithful reject false report on Karnataka violence
    The report of the Committee of Justice Somasekhar exonerates two radical Hindu movements for attacks in 2008 on 56 churches, against all evidence. The President of the Global Council of Indian Christians: "A bundle of lies, intended to confuse and misinform the people." A counter-report submitted today to the Governor and the Chief Minister of Karnataka.



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