Evangelical pastor murdered, doubts shroud attribution to Maoists
Yalam Sankar, 50, was a well-known figure for his stance against Hindu nationalists. The Global Council of Indian Christians calls for a thorough investigation into this murder and the safety and security of the Christian community in central India.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The brutal killing of an evangelical pastor last week in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh raises serious doubts about his real motive. On the night of March 17 in the village of Angampalli, Yalam Sankar, 50 years old, former head of the local council, a figure known for his stance against Hindu nationalists, was attacked in his home by five strangers who dragged him into the street and beat him to death.
Local Christians report that Sankar had been threatened by Hindutva groups, who told him to stop preaching his religion. Despite this, the Bijapur district police attributed the murder to a Maoist guerrilla commando. At the scene of the killing, a statement was also found in which the man was accused of being a police informer. However, the officers are not aware of any such connection.
Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, told AsiaNews: "We condemn the brutal murder of Pastor Yalam Shankar. The fact that it is attributed to the Maoist guerrillas is strangely in contradiction with the statements made by the leaders of the RSS that these groups 'never target Christian communities because they do not denounce the illegal activities of the Naxalites'. The Global Council of Indian Christians', concludes Sajan K. George, 'calls for a thorough investigation into the death of this innocent pastor and the safety and security of Christian communities in central India'.