India: Report on Jaipur Case – Attack on Pastor Walter Massey

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Evangelical Fellowship of India

News Flash

On May 3, a national level fact finding team met Pastor Walter Massey and his family, Superintendent of Police, Mr. Anil Panilwal and Director General of Police, Mr. A. S. Gill and other local Christian and secular groups. Organized by the All India Christian Council (AICC), the
fact finding team included several human rights organizations including the Christian Legal Association.

Walter Massey, a pastor of a house church in Jaipur, Rajasthan was beaten up by Hindu activists after the Sunday service on April 29, 2007 .

So far, seven persons have been arrested in regard to the case including the main accused, Veerendra Singh, an employee of the state government and a member of the Sangh Parivar.

According to AICC, it was only after the fact finding team’s coming to Jaipur and the agitation by the local community before police added criminal charges for spreading hatred between communities and desecrating the Holy Bible to the First Information Report (FIR).

Pastor Walter Massey, his wife Joyce and 9 year-old daughter are undergoing suffering and trauma from the attack. The Massey family should also be given financial compensation by the State due to the communal nature of the attack.

Dr John Dayal, Chairman of all India Catholic Union said, "The pattern of violence indicates a design. The anti-Christian violence is not the sort of communal violence recorded between other communities. A tiny minority is the target and it never retaliates. There is enough evidence available in many places for the police to take suo motu action against the VHP, Bajrang Dal and Vanvasi Kalyan Parishad but no action is taken."

Another Christian pastor and his family received threats in Jaipur on Sunday, May 6 2007 from suspected radical groups prompting the police to accord them security. There have already been four cases of anti-Christian violence in Rajasthan and over 80 cases of atrocities against Christians across India from January this year.

Rev. Richard Howell,
General Secretary