Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Hindu ultra-nationalists continue their "brutal and
relentless" violence against Christians and churches in the Indian State of
Karnataka, this according to Sajan George, president of the Global Council of
Indian Christians ( GCIC ), who in a letter called on the state's Chief
Minister Siddaramiah to intervene.
The seriousness of the situation is such that the central government acknowledged
the situation, defining the Karnataka one of the six states in which extremist
forces are targeting minorities for their own political end.
Last May, when the state
went to vote, nine years of government under Hindu ultra-nationalist the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to an end after the Indian National Congress won
the elections with an absolute majority. A secular and democratic party,
Congress is in power at the Union level.
Yet, attacks by militants from the Sangh Parivar (a Hindu extremist umbrella
organisation) intensified, Sajan George said. Just in the last four months, the
GCIC recorded 27 acts of violence against Christians, compared to four between
January and June.
The latest episode occurred on 5 October. Rev Anil Kumar, a Protestant clergyman
in Hubli, was the victim. On that day, the religious leader visited a widow whose
Christian husband, NB Holemarore, had died of cancer a few years ago, to hold a
prayer vigil in his memory.
The next morning, some Hindu militants armed with machetes surrounded
the woman's house, preventing the reverend from leaving. Then they stormed the building,
dragged Rev Kumar out, accusing him of conducting forced conversions, and beat
him. The beating took place under the eyes of Siddapura police agents who had
arrived on the scene.
Instead of stopping the attack, they took the clergyman to the police
station where they slapped him around and charged him with violating Section
109 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (concerning "suspected persons").
After he was released on bail, Rev Kumar suffered heart attack and was
hospitalised in intensive care.