• Persecution Watch, August 21, 2015

    Christian couple killed by security forces in Kandhamal, Orissa

    A Christian couple was killed allegedly by the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) security forces in Kandhamal on July 26, 2015. The couple, Dubeshwar (Duba) Nayak (45 years) and his wife Budi (Bhubudi) Nayak had gone uphill with three more people to the top of Dudimaha Hills in order to make phone calls as they were unable to get mobile network in their nearby village. They were calling their son Rahul who studies in Kerala. The other people were calling their friends and family as well.

    After the other three people had finished calling they made their way downhill while the Nayak couple stayed back as they had not finished their call yet. On the way back the three met security forces who stopped them at gun point and asked them the purpose of their moving inside the forest area. The three clearly told them what they had come to do. They also mentioned about the Nayak couple still on top of the hill and told the security forces that they will be coming back later. The security personnel asked them to go back to their village.

    About an hour later the villagers heard gunshots being fired and since the Nayaks had not returned still, they expected the worst. Their worry about the well being of the Nayaks grew as the night passed. Out of fear the villagers did not climb the hill to look for them. The Nayaks were nowhere to be seen.

    Early next morning the villagers rushed to the spot but the Nayaks were nowhere to be seen. Bloodstains were visible on the ground and the slippers that Budi Nayak was wearing were found on the spot. The villagers reported the matter to the police who ignored their requests at first and even refused to register an FIR (First Information Report). It was only after the villagers agitated and protested in front of the police station and later blocked the road going to Kotgarh that the dead bodies of Nayaks were handed over on July 28, 2015. The bodies looked like they had already been buried and had been dug out in order to hand over to the villagers.

    The State Human Rights Commission, responding to a petition made by Rahul, the couple’s son, has asked the state government to submit the probe reports of additional DG Human Rights Protection Cell and RDC (southern range) in four weeks.

    Pastor Chandrama Masih and his family attacked in Varanasi

    Pastor Chandrama Masih and his family were brutally attacked by Hindu fundamentalists on July 24, 2015 at Raispatti, Varanasi. Pastor Masih’s family was busy in the construction of their home when they were attacked. The attackers wanted them to flee the area according to local Christian leadership. His wife, daughter and Pastor Masih himself sustained injuries as a result of the attack and were hospitalized for 2 days. His wife has deep cuts on her head and her treatment is going on.

    EFI reached Pastor Masih and his family and was able to assist and encourage them. Pastor Masih has been living in the village for more than 20 years and has faced opposition earlier at the hands of radicals who claim that he is involved in converting Hindus.

    Christians forced to worship Hindu gods in Rajasthan, India

    According to reports, Hindu extremists forcefully placed a Hindu idol and conducted prayers in front of a house of a Christian on July 19, 2015 at Nakhnool village, Alwar, Rajasthan. The attackers dragged the Christian man, who was not at home at the time of the incident, forcefully to his house along with 50 other Christians who were subsequently forced to worship the idol. No reports have been filed till press time.

    Pastors attacked in Nihal Vihar, New Delhi

    Hindu extremists forcibly entered a private residence where prayer was going on and beat up three pastors and other people present alleging conversion on July 18, 2015 at Nihar Vihar, New Delhi.

    Local RSS leaders Mr. Uday Bhan Tiwari, Omprakash, and Praveen led about 25 other people and broke into the house of Mr. Adhya Prasad at Nihar Vihar area. Mr. Adhya Prasad had invited Pastor Harchand and a few others for prayer at his residence when the attack took place. The attackers broke windows, vandalized the place and even beat up women present. The police came after being informed and took the pastor and three others to the police station where they were questioned for long in the presence of the local RSS leaders. The pastors were finally released after the police forced them to accept a hastily drafted compromise. No FIR was registered till the next day when local Christian leaders held a protest outside the police station at Nihal Vihar.

    Later in the night on July 18, Pastor Rajan Gill, Mr. Rajender Masih and a few others, having heard of the report of the violence on Christians, reached the Nihal Vihar police station. By this time Pastor Harchand and the others had left the police station after the hurried compromise facilitated by the police. One of the policemen on duty informed the leaders of the RSS (who were coming out of the police station at that time) about the presence of Pastor Gill and others. As a result, the same attackers beat up Pastor Rajan Gill and Mr. Rajendra Masih, only this time in the presence of policemen and in front of the police station. The extremists attempted to damage the eye of Pastor Gill. Rajendra Masih was also beaten up badly that has left his eardrum damaged for life. All this happened with the policemen being mere mute spectators.

    Christian bodies including EFI have taken this matter to the authorities and the Lt. Governor of Delhi has assured appropriate action.

    Church attacked in West Bengal

    Miscreants vandalized the Saint Thomas Catholic Church at Taherpur, Nadia District, West Bengal in the early morning of July 10, 2015.

    The glass decoration on the door of the partying hall in the church was smashed with bricks, and one of the items used during the prayer was removed from its place and thrown on the yard of the church.

    “The box containing materials of prayer was broken by the miscreants and its contents were thrown in the yard,” Dipak Mondal, a member of the governing body of the church told the media.

    This is the second incident in the area where the Christian community has been targeted. Earlier in March 2015, an elderly nun was gang-raped at Ranaghat, only 25 kilometres from Taherpur.

    Christian school attacked by RSS cadres in Ashoknagar, Madhya Pradesh

    Local RSS members forced their way into a Christian school in Ashoknagar, Madhya Pradesh, on July 7, 2015 and assaulted the Principal, a Nun and beat up a Priest during their attack on the institution.

    The members of the RSS forcefully barged into the Jeevan Jyoti Convent School demanding documents of the school’s recognition and documents supporting permission of RTE (Right to Education).

    When the Principal, Sister Sudha John, told them the all the documents were with school administrator and could be presented to everybody, the RSS members started to verbally abuse her and started behaving indecently. According to reports, one of the aggressors even held her hand and pulled her towards himself allegedly with bad intentions which made her run out of her own office screaming for help.

    As they followed Sister Sudha John, the RSS members found Fr. Ajjo, also working in the school, entered his office and beat him up brutally.

    A First Information Report has been filed, however no arrests have been made till now.

    Issued By:

    Rev. Dr. Richard Howell,
    General Secretary
    Evangelical Fellowship of India
    New Delhi, India

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