EFI News Persecution Watch, January 14, 2011

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January 14, 2011

Protestant Pastor found dead in Kandhamal, Orissa

The bloody dead body of a protestant pastor was found near a pond in Pakala village on 11 January in Pakala, Kandhamal, Orissa. His family believes he was murdered as part of a hate campaign against Christians, but the local police say the man died in the severe cold wave sweeping the state.

According to information reaching us, two people identified as Marda Pradhan and Bijju Malik invited Rev Saul Pradhan out for a talk on Tuesday evening. It was reported that Marda Pradhan and Bijju Malik were involved in arson and looting during the 2008 anti- Christian violence.

The family and relatives of Rev. Saul Pradhan started searching for him when he did not return until the next morning. The family requested Marda Pradhan to join their search. According to reports, Marda took them in one direction but ran away after some time. Later, the search team looked around and saw the bloody body near the pond.

When the Christians went to file a police complain, the local police officers scolded them for suspecting murder and told them that the pastor died of cold.

The victim's elder brother Dushashan was reported as saying that the said body showed signs of struggle, with "blood oozing from mouth, hands and legs twisted and pants torn." A post mortem examination has been performed but the results have not been released.

Nimata, wife of late Rev. Pradhan, was also reported as saying that her husband was killed because he was trying to reconcile Hindus and Christians in the village. She also said in his efforts to bring peace, the pastor had tried to bring reconciliation even with those who had torched houses in the village.


Carol singers attacked in Maharashtra

Carol singers on Dec. 18 were beaten at 10:15 p.m. in Worli Koliwada, Mumbai, reported our correspondent.

About 25 members of the New Life Church youth group were singing carols when Dhananjay Desai allegedly from the Hindu extremist Hindu Rashtra Sena began mocking them, saying they were paid to sing. Desai then phoned other Hindu extremists, who rushed to the spot in three cars and charged into the youth group, beating two of them, Ganesh Gadam and Joel Metrin.

The extremists forced the victims into their cars and took them to a police station. Police issued a warning to the assailants, who threatened the Christians with harm if they persisted in holding public Christian activities.

Christian accused of forceful conversion in Karnataka

Alleged Hindu extremists from the Rashtriya Sawaymsevak Sangh on Dec. 17 attacked a Christian and accused him of “large-scale conversion” in Shimoga.

Our correspondent reported that about 15 Hindu extremists gathered at the house of S. Prakash, manager of the Dalit Education Centre, and accused him of using the school as a cover for the alleged conversions.

The extremists beat Prakash, leaving him with several internal injuries, and threatened further harm if he did not close down the school. They also cut down trees at the school and destroyed its signboard.

Prakash filed a complaint with local police. Village officials are supportive of the work by the school. Police investigation is going on.

Catholic priest attacked in Madhya Pradesh

Armed men on Dec. 6 attacked the Rev. Thomas Chirattavalli in Satna, Madhya Pradesh. The assailants hit the priest’s head when he opened the door of the parish house, then they chased and beat him.

The parish driver, cook and another staff member heard the disturbance and tried to come out, but the attackers had locked the doors from outside. The priest sustained two deep wounds on the head, as well as injuries on other parts of his body. He filed an First Information Report at Burgama in Singrauli district.

Pastor attacked in Andhra Pradesh

On Dec. 20 in Hi-City, Hyderabad, about 100 alleged Hindu extremists attacked Pastor T.R. Raju, warning him to vacate the area.

The previous day Pastor Raju had led a Christmas celebration with a convert from Hinduism, an actor identified only as Surya, as a guest speaker, reported our correspondent. Surya had mentioned the blessing of having Christ as God but did not criticize other faiths.

Afterward, however, four people came and argued with the pastor and verbally abused him. The next day, about 100 Hindu hardliners gathered at the pastor’s house, verbally abused him and beat him up. Surya also showed up and pleaded with the furious mob to stop, and police arrived as the attackers scattered.

The extremists continued to threaten the pastor to leave the area or face harm. They also threatened the pastor’s landlord, who subsequently gave notice to the pastor to vacate the house in 10 days.

An appeal to write to authorities

As concerned people, kindly write to the Chief Minister of Orissa, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh appealing to them to safe guard the rights of the minority communities and to give protection to churches against attacks and to take immediate action against the perpetrators of violence.

Shri Navin Patnaik
Chief Minister of Orissa
Naveen Nivas, Aerodrome Road, P.O. Bhubaneswar
Distt. Khurda, Pin - 751 001 (Orissa)
[email protected]

(O) Tel: (0674) 2531100 ; 2535100 ; 2531500
(O) Fax: (0674) 2400100
(R) Tel: (0674) 2590299

Shri B. S. Yediyurappa
Chief Minister of Karnataka

(O) Tel: +91 080 22253414 ; 22253424
(O) Fax: +91 080 22281021 ; 22253660
E-mail: [email protected]

Shri Hans Raj Bhardwaj   
Governor of Karnataka
Raj Bhavan Road,
Bangalore - 560 001

Tel: + 91 080 22254102 ; 22253555
Fax: +91 080 22258150

Email: [email protected]

Chief Minister of Maharashtra
Shri Ashok Chavan
'Varsha' Malbar Hill, Bhausaheb Hiray Marg,
Malabar Hill, Mumbai - 400 006.

(O) Tel: (022) 22025151 ; 22025222
(O) Fax: (022) 23633272;
(R) Tel: (022) 23633051 ; 23634950
[email protected]

Shri Kiran Kumar Reddy
Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh
'C' Block, 6th Floor, AP Secretariat
Email: [email protected]

(O) Tel: (040) 23456698; 23455205
(O) Fax: (040) 23452498 ; 23454828

Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh

(O) Tel: (755) 2551581 ; 2551433
(O) Fax: (755) 2551781 ; 2540501

Email: [email protected]

Issued By:
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