The dead man, Kalantus Barla, was mentally disabled. The other two Christians are in critical conditions at a hospital in Ranchi. For John Dayal, the murder shows the “impunity that exists in the state where Hindutva is a concern."
New Delhi (AsiaNews) – Three tribal Christians were victims of lynching in Jharkhand, suspected of slaughtering a cow, a sacred animal in Hinduism.
One of the three, Kalantus Barla, a mentally disabled man, died on his way to the hospital; the other two, Fagu Kachhap and Phillip Horo, were taken in critical conditions to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Ranchi.
Speaking to AsiaNews, Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), strongly condemned the horrific attack against the Christian tribal men, targeted because of rumours of cattle slaughtering.
The attack took place yesterday morning in Jaltanda Suari, a village in Khunti district. Some people said they saw the three men sell beef at a riverside market.
Following a series of messages on WhatsApp, about 15 people came together and attacked the tribal men. Taken by surprise, the three tried but failed to flee.
The dead man is the “fourth tribal Christian lynched in Jharkhand by self-styled gau rakshaks[*] about whom we know from the media,” said John Dayal, general secretary of the All India Christian Council and president of the All India Catholic Union.
"God alone knows the real numbers of Muslims, Christians, Dalits killed by these murderous gangs in the last two years,” he explained. “They may or may not have the patronage of senior political leaders of the BJP[†] in the state, but they surely revel in the state of impunity that exists in the state where Hindutva is a concern.”
The Catholic leader noted that, "although the Prime Minister, Mr Modi, once chastised the Gau rakshaks in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, the recurrent killings are evidence of the absolute lack of political will” to stop them.
“What makes it worse is that the police seem reluctant” to act. If “they are partners in the crime when they accompany the monsters and see the victim being beaten up, they are late on the scene, falter in taking the victim to hospital, errant in recording the names of the people involved, absolutely non-scientific in collecting evidence and recording the statements of the victim, if he is still alive, or of the witnesses. The court records in lynching cases speak for themselves.”
In addition, “some major efforts at charting such crime nationally have been forced to close down, for instance Hate Crime Checker of the Hindustan Times and the similar venture of India Spend.”
For Sajan K George "Jharkhand has become a hot bed of anti-Christian violence specifically targeted by extremist forces. Cow slaughter is another propaganda tool used against tribal Christians in secular democratic India."
(Nirmala Carvalho contributed to this article)
[*] Cow vigilantes.
[†] Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, the Indian People’s Party.