Upsurge of Persecution Cases in Karnataka, India

General August 1, 2008

Evangelical Fellowship of India condemns the attacks against a Christian pastor and four other Christian workers in Tumkur District in the southern state of Karnataka.

The pastor, Fr. Shivshankar H.D. and four other Christians, Bro Yeshuraj Devana, Ramiyah B.G. Thakur Hemant and Jevan B.K. were attacked by a mob of about 30 persons allegedly belonging to a group called the Ram Sena, as they were praying in their house. The mob barged into the home and after beating the Christians present, they forcibly took them to the Turuvekere police station.

An FIR was registered against the pastors under sections 143, 147, 295, 295 A, 504 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, which primarily deal with inciting communal disharmony and the Christians were produced before a magistrate this morning. However, the Christians could not be released on bail, as the advocate who had been retained by them withdrew from the matter after the local bar association passed a resolution prohibing any of its members from defending the pastors.

No counter FIR was registered against the mob by the police.

The Christians are associated with the Karnataka Dioceses of the Believers Church

EFI appeals to the authorities to protect the religious minorities in Karnataka and to ensure that the Christians are able to exercise their fundamental right to a legal defence.

EFI also requests prayers for the Christian brothers who have been falsely accused and for help and support from the local authorities and government officials.
Important Phone numbers:
KARNATAKA STATE MINORITIES COMMISSION
5 th Floor, Visveswaraya Main Tower,
Dr.B.R.Ambedkar Veedhi, Bangalore-560 001.
Phone: +91-80-2286 4204 / 3400
Fax: +91-80-2286 3282
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.karmin.in
SP Tumkur District
+91- 816-2272451/ 2272461
District Session Judge
+91-816- 2278273/ 2278274 (Res.)
Fax: +91-816- 2272101
PSI Turuvekere PS
+91- 8139 - 287334
Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
General Secretary
Evangelical Fellowship of India
New Delhi, India
Evangelical Fellowship of India (established 1951) is a charter member of World Evangelical Alliance, an accredited NGO with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations