Friday, January 27, 2006

Tribal Pastors attacked in Jhabua again

Tribal Pastors attacked and beaten up in a case of blatant state atrocity
By Vijayesh Lal

25th January 2006: In a gross violation of human-rights a group of local policemen barged into a Christian home where a prayer meeting had to be conducted in Chapri village of Jhabua in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and beat up two tribal pastors who were supposed to leading the prayer meeting.

On Wednesday morning at 10:30 am, as local Christians had gathered together for a time of prayer at Rai Singh's home, as many as nine policemen belonging to the state police barged into the Christian home a few minutes before the prayer meeting could begin.

In utter disregard of their responsibilities as keepers of law, these goons became breakers of law and badly beat up the two tribal pastors who had to lead the prayer meeting.

After beating the two pastors of the Philadelphia Church of Chapri, namely Rai Singh Amblia at whose house the meeting was going on and Hatehsingh Rawat mercilessly, the police put them into their vehicle and dragged them to the police station repeatedly threatening them of dire consequences if they coinued to gather together for prayer or for any other kind of 'Christian activity'.

Raisingh and Hatesingh were locked up in custody for more than four hours where they were not only beaten up more but their Christian faith was also mocked at. The pastors were assaulted on their stomach and hands and the policemen also struck blows on their neck. The wounds which the two pastors received as a result of the police beatings forced them to be taken to the local hospital the next day.

However, when reports last came in the two pastors were denied access to medical aid by the local hospital authorities who demanded that the pastors obtain written permission from the police to receive medical help.

Those involved in this unlawful act of atrocity against the minority community include Babu Bhabor, Pal, Jaisingh, Gadwan, Shamra, Mukesh, Shisodia and other policemen. The incident took place in the very presence of the Sub-Inspector, Kalidevi Police chowki, Mr. Samrath Devanji. The T.I. of the area was however absent when the incident took place.

The Christians in Chapri village are in a state of shock while Christians in Jhabua maintain that acts of state atrocities like this are shaking their confidence in the state machinery which they say is anyway conniving with anti-Christian elements to terrorize the Christian community in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

Mrs. Indira Iyengar of the Madhya Pradesh Minority Commission expressed her concern over the incident. She said, "It is shocking in the manner in which the Christians in Jhabua are being targeted almost systematically by communal forces. It is becoming a regular affair and almost no protection is being offered by the government." She expressed her surprise at the incident as it happened just a day before the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh; Mr. Shivraj Chauhan was in Jhabua for Republic Day celebrations.

It is noteworthy that Mr. Arjun Singh, Central Human Resource development minister had called on the government to protect the Christian community in Jhabua from systematic attacks by Hindutva forces just a few days ago.