Mumbai (AsiaNews) – A hundred members of the extremist Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha group demonstrated yesterday in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, against “attempts by Christians to convert” families from the village of Nithari, infamously known for its “house of horrors”. Social activists however have shown that such accusations are pure Hindu fundamentalist propaganda that emerges every time there is some kind of disaster that elicits a humanitarian response from Christians.
This particular story began early this year when the remains of about 40 women and children were found in the garden and sewers of a house owned by a businessman in Nithari. The victims whose disappearance had been reported some time ago were likely sexually abused before being killed.
The owner, Moninder Singh, and his servant Surender, are in police custody as police continue their investigation.
It is not clear whether organ trafficking was also involved.
After the macabre discovery, a team from the All India Christian Council (AICC) visited the victims’ families. It found that the victims were poor and Dalit, many from out of state or from religious minorities and relayed the families’ complaints that whilst the children from rich or upper caste families who disappeared were found by police, the missing person reports they filed went unheeded.
For their part, Hindu extremists who demonstrated yesterday in Noida have demanded the government compensate victims’ families to prevent “Christian missionaries from converting them through money pledges and moral comfort”.
AICC’s Secretary General John Dayal, who led his group’s team to the village, told AsiaNews that these charges are typical of Hindu fundamentalists. He said: “They did the same thing during rescue operations at the time of the tsunami, when a quake hit Jammu and Kashmir and in other disasters. Even Nithari can be considered a disaster area from a moral and social point of view.”
”As Christians,” he added, “all we wanted to do was bring some comfort to poor families, devastated by grief. This is a sign of civic responsibility in addition to being a religious principle”.
Dayal goes further and exposes the falsehoods said about the Christian community. “Every time we tried to meet with victims’ relatives the police was present. With a local magistrate, it stopped us in order to prevent possible attacks against us. So how could any conversion or attempt to convert take place when no Christian group could get close to anyone”.