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  • » 10/11/2013, 00.00

    INDIA

    Karnataka: no end to violence against Christians

    Nirmala Carvalho

    The president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) appeals to the state's chief minister, asking protection for minorities. Over the past four months, Hindu extremists have carried out 21 anti-Christian attacks. In the latest case, a Protestant clergyman suffered a heart attack after he was beaten by fundamentalists and arrested by police.

    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.

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    See also

    15/01/2011 INDIA
    Christians denounce authorities’ complicity with extremists in Karnataka
    False accusations mounted against young Christians as the aggressors go unpunished. The President of the Global Council of Indian Christians, Sajan K. George makes an appeal to the government: "You should take immediate steps to protect the lives and properties of the microscopic Christian community."

    14/11/2011 INDIA
    Karnataka, two Christian communities attacked in the district of Hassan
    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.

    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.

    12/10/2011 INDIA
    Karnataka, six more Christians in prison for forced conversions
    Activists of the Sangh Parivar (Hindu ultra-nationalist movement) attack and report the men to police as they prayed in their homes. Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, "police collusion." It is the 37th anti-Christian case since the beginning of year.

    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”.



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