02/18/2009, 00.00
INDIA
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Orissa: Christian beaten and abducted by Hindu extremists, but is a wanted man for police

by Nirmala Carvalho
Golyat Pradhan, 22, was abducted on 11 February and has not been heard ever since. His mother filed a statement of disappearance, but for police he is wanted man after fundamentalists accused him of being a “Maoist” and a rapist. Meanwhile anti-Christian violence continues.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) – A young man has been abducted and tortured by Hindu fundamentalists without police lifting a finger. If anything when his mother tried to file a complain about his disappearance, police issued him a summons to come to the police station, this according to Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), an NGO that monitors the ill-treatment of Christians in the Indian State of Orissa.

The activist confirmed that the “situation is still bad” for Christians, and that extremists are “freely roaming villages”, involved in criminal acts and attacking people without much as hiccup from police.

In Daringabadi, a village in Kandhamal district (Orissa) police refused to register the statement of disappearance involving the young man; instead, it issued a summons for the abducted Christian to come to the police station.

“At 4 pm on 11 February a Hindu mob surrounded Golyat Pradhan’s house, demanding that the 22-year-old and his widowed mother Pusra convert to Hinduism,” said Sajan K. George.

“When the two Christians soundly refused, the mob became enraged. Hindu fanatics then “dragged the man out of the house” and “began beating him mercilessly. Helpless the mother watched, pleading with her son’s assailants to have mercy on him.” Instead, “her cries spurred the fanatics who then shoved her inside the house, bolting the door.”

The Hindu extremists took Golyat to the neighbouring village of Galabadi, dragging and beating him mercilessly. Armed with sticks they tied him to a post, standing guard near the entrance to the village, to prevent any attempt to rescue him.

The mob beat the young man till he lost consciousness. Two fires were lit near the post where he was tied. The torture continued until 10 pm when the extremists called Daringabadi police, informing them that they had arrested a “Maoist” who had come into the village to rape.

“Police arrived in the morning around 10 am,” said Sajan K. George, “and freed the young man’s mother, who took the agents to where her son had been taken. But there was no trace of him. He has not been heard ever since.”

The activist said that instead of starting an investigation into the young man’s disappearance the police issued a summons for him to appear before police to answer charges filed against him.

Since August of last year, when anti-Christian violence broke out in Orissa, the Pradhan family has been the victim of threats by Hindu fundamentalists.

Local sources told AsiaNews that this was due to the fact that “they are close friends of a Catholic priest, a situation that has made them a prime target for fundamentalists who want to reconvert them to Hinduism.”

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