New Delhi: Hindutva extremists attacked Christians with axes, stones, and wooden clubs when they were praying in a house church on 8 March in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district. The attack left many people injured, including eight who sustained serious injuries and required hospitalization, reported a persecution watchdog called International Christian Concern (ICC).
During the incident, the extremists also burned a motorbike and several bicycles belonging to the Christians.
According to media reports, a mob of 30, led by a local radical leader named Ando Guddi, attacked a house church where more than 150 Christians had gathered for worship on March 8. The mob claimed the Christians were involved in illegal religious conversions to justify their attack.
”There is an attempt by the local politicians to divide people on religious lines, and it is not the first such incident reported in this area,” a local Christian told ICC.
”The police and the administration do not help the local Christians as they do not even file a first information report.”
Pastor Samson Bhagel, one of the Christians seriously injured in the attack, has been leading 13 congregations in the Bastar District for the past 11 years. Following the attack, the local Christian community has been gripped with a sense of fear and insecurity. ”This is very bad what happened to my husband and the other Christians,” Durasth Bhagel, Pastor Bhagel’s wife, told ICC. ”We have never experienced this kind of rough situation.”
Experts believe that attacks on Indian minority groups have increased since Bharatiya Janata Party came to power.