08/30/2021, 14.05
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A hundred Hindu extremists attack Pentecostal clergyman in Chhattisgarh

by Nirmala Carvalho

Right-wing extremists are behind the violence. The false accusation of proselytising unleashed the attack. A 25-year-old clergyman and his family were the target. For GCIC president, the mob carried out “deliberate acts of violence even against women”. Scriptures and sacred books were torn up, wounding Christians’ religious feelings.

Delhi (AsiaNews) – More violent attacks against Christians have been reported in India. The latest involves a Pentecostal clergyman who was brutally assaulted by more than 100 Hindu extremists.

The incident took place yesterday in Polmi, a rural village in Kabirdham, a district in Chhattisgarh, a state in central India, this according to Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC).

Speaking to AsiaNews, the activist explained that the violence against 25-year-old Kawalsingh Paraste follows “false charges of promoting activities aimed at conversion”.

In their report, the police, who intervened shortly after the attack, note that the attackers "devastated the property and beat up the pastor's family".

“Soon after being alerted, a police team rushed to the scene,” said Kabirdham Police Superintendent Mohit Garg.

“As per the preliminary information, a crowd of over 100 people stormed into his house and allegedly damaged articles of worship and household items, and tore scriptures,” he noted, adding that “They allegedly beat up Paraste and manhandled his family members, including women, and then escaped”.

Although police opened an investigation, more than 24 hours after the attack there are no suspects, and the case, like other past attacks against Christians and other minorities, is likely to end up in nothing.

Once again, Christians are the victims of “violence, discrimination and denial of the free practice of worship,” noted GCIC president George.

“India is a secular country,” he explained, “but Indians, especially in Chhattisgarh, are routinely deprived of religious freedom”.

“The extremists,” George added, “barged into the house, committed deliberate acts of violence even against women and deeply wounded our religious feelings, tearing up scriptures and sacred books.”

“The Indian Christian population is a minuscule 2.3 per cent, which proves how the Hindutva conversion claims are just propaganda.”

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