EFI: Christians Beaten; Building Dedication Stopped, Cemetry Desecrated & a Sit-in

January 28, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Christians beaten, Building Dedication Stopped, Cemetry DesecratedChhattisgarh, January 28, 2012: On 10 January in Kirandul Basti, Dantewada, anti-Christian fundamentalists disrupted the dedication ceremony of a newly constructed building and accused the Christians of forceful conversion.

A mob of about 80 anti-Christian extremists barged into the dedication service of Enlightening Prayer Tower and started accusing Pastor Ritesh Barsa and the church members of forceful conversion. The meeting was stopped immediately and the matter was reported to Kirandul police station who however refused to intervene.

The plot for the church building was donated by Nanda, a believer of the church whose house is located next to the Christian new building. Nanda fled in fear from his house to save his life from the attack of the anti Christians and left his wife and children behind.

However on the next day, about 50 anti Christian elements again stormed the house of Nanda searching for him. They severely  thrashed his family, when they could not find him. The matter was reported to the police but no action was taken.

Graveyard Desecrated & Vandalized

On 8 January in Jagdalpur, government officials demolished one side of the boundary wall of Karkapal Christian Graveyard after Hindu extremists filed a complaint against the Christians of constructing a boundary wall in an encroached area and staged a protest.

Thereafter, a group of about 100 extremists soon arrived and further demolished the broken boundary wall. They then desecrated the old graves, shouted anti Christian slogans and hurled verbal abused against the pastors and church leaders present on the spot.

Later, about a thousand Christians from the area gathered at Bodhghat police station to file a complaint against the extremists. However, the police refused to file any complaint against the them. Traffic on the national highway was also interrupted and police force was deployed in large number to control the situation.

After the intervention of the Chhattisgarh Christian Forum, an FIR was filed against three extremists – Kailash Rathi, Yogendra Kaushik and Mansingh Parmar – under IPC Sections 297 and 34. Two of them were arrested on the next day and one was found missing. They were later released on bail at the police station itself.

Jagdalpur Municipal Corporation Commissioner, Ramesh Jaisawal informed that 1.86 Acre land had been allotted to the Christian community for graveyard, but boundary wall of the graveyard was constructed covering 2.19 Acre.

Mr. Munna Paul, President of United Christian Church Graveyard Committee, Jagdalpur clarified that it is in possession of the Christian community for last 108 years and Jagdalpur Municipal Corporation only allocated a small fund to construct the boundary wall of the graveyard.

The Hindu extremists group submitted a memorandum to the Collector & District Magistrate of Jagdalpur, Mr. Anbalgan P. and demanded action against 30 Christians who were present at the time of demolition of the boundary wall of the Karkapal Christian Graveyard. The Christians were falsely accused of hurling verbal abuse and stone pelting.

Sit- in by Christians

The Christians of Jagdalpur called for a United Rally and Sit-in on 10 January, 2013 to protest the incident at which about 10,000 Christians participated. The program was  addressed by community including Mrs. Ingrid McLeoud (Nominated Anglo Indian Member of Parliament from Bilaspur), Mr. Kawasi Lakhma (Congress MLA from Konta), Mr. Mahendra Karma (Ex MLA of Dantewada & Ex Member of Parliament from Bastar), Mr. Maneesh Kunjam (President of Akhil Bhartiya Adivasi Mahasabha & Ex MLA), who all expressed their solidarity with the Christian community and demanded stern action against culprits.

A memorandum was submitted to the Collector & District Magistrate, Mr. Anbalgan P. and Superintendent of Police, Mr. Badri Narayan Meena on the spot of sit-in, demanding restoration of the boundary wall of the graveyard, proper action against the Hindu extremists and Mayor, Chairman, Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, quashing of false complaints against the Christians and ban on VHP & Bajrang Dal in Bastar division.

The Sit-in was withdrawn after assurance was given of proper investigation and lawful action within a week.

– efi

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