01/05/2011, 00.00
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Karnataka: pastor who narrowly escaped murder is arrested

by Santosh Digal
The Hindu extremists responsible for the attack have accused him of "Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion," and he has been arrested, although it still seriously injured. The Global Council of Indian Christians condemns the collusion between radicals and police at local level.

Bangalore (AsiaNews) - The Global Council of Indian Christians denounces the arrest of Pastor Isaac Samuel, the victim of an attack by Hindutva fundamentalists. The arrest was made by the police in Davanagere. The news was reported by Sajan K. George, chairman of the Council. The arrest follows a complaint lodged against Isaac Samuel by Basraj, an activist of the Bajrang Dal, a Hindu radical movement. Basraj lodged the complaint yesterday against the pastor Isaac Samuel under Article 153 of the Indian Penal Code, accusing him of "Promoting enmity between different groups on the basis of religion." (04/01/2011 Hindu radicals fabricate charges against beaten preacher).

Samuel Isaac miraculously escaped an attack that could have cost him his life. On January 2, some extremists armed with knives attacked him in Davanagere in Karnataka, while he was leading a prayer service for the New Year. The pastor suffered serious head injuries. Brought to Chigateri General Hospital, he received twelve stitches. Police yesterday arrested two of his assistants, who were present at the attack, on charges of "promoting enmity between different groups on the basis of religion." Today at 2 pm (local time), police arrested Isaac Samuel

His opponents, members of the Bajrang Dal, circulated a fabricated version of the episode, claiming that Isaac Samuel was surprised while carrying out conversions, and he hurt himself fleeing his attackers. The Global Council of Indian Christians has condemned in the most severe terms the obvious collusion between the police and local extremists in Karnataka, and asked the Prime Minister of Karnataka to meet his constitutional obligations and defend the human rights of victims of "terror".

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