Karnataka, 20 Christians in prayer assaulted and humiliated, accused of proselytizing
by Nirmala Carvalho
It is the third anti-Christian incident in the state in 2012. Ultra-nationalist RSS (Rashtriya Sangh Savayansevak) have beaten, stripped and dragged the pastor in front of the whole village. Other incidents in Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir. President of the Global Council of Indian Christians: "The complicity between the government and ultranationalist forces are seriously endangering the survival of Christians in Karnataka"
Haliyal (AsiaNews) - Dozens of Hindu activists of the RSS (Rashtriya Sangh Savayansevak) attacked 20 Christians of teh Fellowship of New Life in a private house, 3km from the town of Haliyal (Uttar Kannada, Karnataka). The episode took place on Jan. 23. "Even in 2012 - said Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) - there is no respite for the Christians. We are already at the third anti-Christian, incident in the first month of the year. "
Accusing those present of proselytism and forced conversions, the ultranationalists have begun to beat Kishore Kavalekar, a faithful, and Rev. Kalappa Chandrakanth Chavan, 27, under the eyes of his wife Vandana, 24, and 3 year old daughter. After tearing the clothes of the pastor, the activists dragged him in front of the whole village. Finally, attackers tied him to a tree near a Hindu temple and called the Haliyal police. The police arrested Rev. Chandrakanth and Kishore, imprisoning them for 24 hours, leaving the RSS activists to roam free.
Since 2008, the Karnataka has been led by the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), an ultra-nationalist party that supports groups and movements of Hindu extremists belonging to the wide umbrella of the Sangh Parivar. Among these, the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), the VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) and Bajrang Dal, are often responsible for the violence against Dalits and Christians.
"The complicity between the government forces and the ultra-nationalist BJP - stated the president of the GCIC - is seriously endangering the survival of Christians in Karnataka. Tomorrow, India celebrates the 62nd Republic Day: It is imperative that the secular credentials of our Constitution are guaranteed to be followed in all the states in the country. "
Recently, other Indian states were the scene of anti-Christian persecution. In Jammu and Kashmir, an Islamic court (which has no legal authority, ed) has decreed the expulsion of five Christian missionaries, including the pastor CM Khanna and Fr Jim Borst.
In the district of Umaria (Madhya Pradesh), Jan. 12, police raided the rooms of an American student and 20 other girls, on the basis of alleged forced conversions. Going to the U.S. Embassy to denounce the fact, Nicole Jaquis said that the police with Hindutva nationalists rummaged through her belongings, including underwear, without presenting a warrant.
"Christians - adds Sajan George - are treated as second class citizens not only by the ultra-nationalist forces, but also the authorities. With the approach of Republic Day, it is time that the State ensures the Christian minority of its constitutional rights. "