EFI Persecution Watch, March 19, 2010

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March 19, 2010

Pastor arrested in Mangalore, Karnataka

Karnataka police arrested a pastor after allegedly Hindu extremists lodged a complaint against him of forceful conversion on March 15 in Borgunta, Sullai Taluk, Mangalore.

The incident took place when Pastor Valsalan of Bethesda Assembly of God’s Church and his family were visiting a church member’s home when about 30 Hindu extremists barged into the house and accused the pastor of forceful conversion, reported our correspondent Walter Maben.

The extremists then filed a police complaint against the pastor of forceful conversion. Area Bharatiya Janata Member MLA and other extremists pressured the police authorities to arrest the pastor.

Police arrived on the spot and took the pastor to the station for questioning and later arrested him under Sections 295 (A) and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. The pastor was sent to central jail in Mangalore.

Dead body of a Christian Exhumed in Arsikere, Karnataka

A mob of about 150 Hindu extremists allegedly from the Bajrang Dal, shouting Hindu slogan exhumed the dead body and dumped it 3kms away from the cemetery on March 17 in Arsikere, Karnataka.

Walter Maben, EFI correspondent and Chairman, Karnataka Mission Network reported that at about 7:30 p.m. just as the funeral procession of late Isaac (50), member of St. Thomas Church, was over. The extremists forcefully entered into the cemetery, exhumed the body, and tossed it into a tractor while reprimanding the Christians to carry the dead body to Rome or America as the dead body of a Christian may contaminate the soil.

The mourners present at the site pleaded with the extremists to spare the dead body and ran after the truck. Later they managed to take hold of the dead body back to the cemetery and reported the matter to the police.

However, the police advised the Christians to remain silent about exhuming the body and to bury the dead body in another cemetery, to avoid further attack from the extremists.

The dead body was buried in the church of South India cemetery at midnight, one kilometer away from the St. Thomas cemetery.

Nine gets jail in Kandhamal riots case

The First Track Court- II on March 16 convicted nine people and sentenced them to four years imprisonment for their role in the anti-Christian violence in Orissa’s Kandhamal district in 2008.

Judge C.R. Das convicted nine people from Selesaru village for torching Christian houses on August 25, 2008. The nine were sentenced to a four year jail term and a fined Rs.5,500 each.

More than 25,000 Christians were forced to flee after their houses were attacked by violent mobs that held Christians responsible for Laxmi Saraswati's killing although Maoists claimed responsibility for the assassination.

The government set up two fast track courts to try cases related to the communal violence.

Six year old girl testify against her father’s killer

A six year old girl gave her testimony as the eye witness to the murder of her father in the Orissa’s communal violence in August 2008 in the First Track Court No.1 in Phulbani District of Orissa.

In spite of threats against her and her widow mother, Lipsa Naik identified Manoj Pradhan, Bharatiya Janata Party Member Legislative Assembly, as the killer of her father.

On March 14, the Hon’ble court asked her about who was the murderer of her father; Lipsa boldly pointed Manoj Pradhan MLA who has been elected from the G. Udayagiri constituency while in jail last year.

The murder took place after the communal violence broke out after the killing of a Hindu leader by the Maoists when Lipsa, her two year old sister and parents fled to a nearby forest from the Hindu extremists. However, the extremists locate them and beat up her late father Manoj Naik for about 2 hours before they stabbed and cut him to death and later burned him.

An appeal to write to authorities

As concerned people, kindly write to the Prime Minister; Chairman, National Minorities Commission; Governor and Chief Minister of Karnataka 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..

Hon'ble Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
Room No. 152,
South Block,
New Delhi, 110001

(O) Tel: +91 11 23012312
(O) Fax: +91 11 23016857

National Commission for Minorities
5th Floor,
Lok Nayak Bhavan,
Khan Market,
New Delhi 110 003

Tel: +91 11 24615583
Fax: +91 11 24693302 ; 24642645 ; 24698410
Toll Free Number: 1800110088

Email: [email protected]

Governor of Karnataka
Raj Bhavan Road,
Bangalore - 560 001

Tel: + 91 80 22254102 ; 22253555
Fax: +91 80 22258150

Email: [email protected]

Shri B. S. Yediyurappa
Chief Minister of Karnataka

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

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