Munshi Dev Tado, 28, was shot dead, presumably by a Naxalite (Maoist) activist, who falsely accused him of being a police informant.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) – A young Indian missionary, Munshi Dev Tado (pictured, with his family), was brutally murdered last Friday, allegedly by a member of a Maoist group, in Gadchiroli district, Maharashtra.
Speaking to AsiaNews, Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), condemned the murder "in the strongest possible terms”.
“Munshi Dev Tado was a 28-year-old Christian,” said George. “He was shot dead, presumably by a Naxalite[*] who falsely accused him of being a police informant.”
“The Naxalite left flyers next Tado's body claiming he was a police informant,” George added. “The hateful murder of this Christian took place last Friday and Munshi’s body was found on Saturday near his native village, Bhamragad.”
The GCIC President explained that “Before his encounter with Jesus Christ, Munshi was also a Naxalite; he tormented and persecuted Christian families in the area.”
"Munshi came to know Jesus Christ through the Church Growth Missionary Movement (CGMM) in Tamil Nadu, which was engaged in missionary activity in the area.
“Once Munshi embraced Jesus as Saviour and freely accepted the Christian faith, he left the Naxalite group and began studying the Gospel and carrying out missionary work."
Twice the Naxalites ordered him to stop prayer services and preaching Jesus. Eventually, he was seized in the fields and taken away on Friday evening and shot dead in a forest.
Munshi Dev Tado entered the Kingdom of God leaving his wife and four children (three daughters and one son). "The GCIC condemns the murder of Munshi Dev Tado,” said George.
The Naxalites are not the only threat to Christians. “Gadchiroli is a remote tribal area where local Hindutva[†] groups operate. In August 2018, Christians in five local villages faced mob violence and discrimination as 'their faith was seen as a threat to the wider Hindu identity of that community.'
“Munshi Dev Tado's conversion to the Christian faith led to hostility and tensions. He was murdered in a remote wooded area for his Christian faith and Church and for preaching the Gospel.
"The GCIC demands justice for Munshi Dev Tado and the truth about his murder. Law enforcement must bring the killers to justice.”
[*] The Naxalites belong to a Maoist-oriented Communist party.
[†] Hindutva is an umbrella term for extreme Hindu nationalism.