Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Christian women raped by Hindutva fanatics, Christians beaten up in Madhya Pradesh

Reported by Vijayesh Lal

30th May 2006: New Delhi:

Activists belonging to the Hindutva brigade attacked a group of Christians and gang raped 2 Christian women in the Nadia village, Bhagwanpura block of the Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh on the 28th May 2006. The attack took place around 10:00 pm in the night, while the Christians were in their homes.

The attackers beat the Christians and took hostage two women Baishi Pokharia and Rekha Gyarsiya and dragged them to the nearby deserted area. There they stripped the women by force after which they gang raped them. The names of the alleged rapists as described by the women are: Lulla, Nandla, Kalu, Rewal Singh, and Sakaram. All are from the same village i.e. Nadia.

When the husbands of the women and other Christians tried to protect them from being raped, they too were beaten up with weapons and three men namely Kashiram, Pokharia (husband of Baishi Pokharia), and Ghundia have sustained injuries.

The attack as described by Pastor Kailash Davar of Khargone took place without provocation. The Christians were quietly in their homes and not even involved in worship or prayer during the time of the attack. Pastor Davar further revealed that this is a regular pattern for Christians in the area. Last year several Christians had to pay penalty for 'being Christians' in the same village. The penalties ranged from 2500 (60 USD) to 7000 (170 USD) Indian Rupees depending upon the status of the family.

The attackers further illegally detained by force the injured and the two women so that they would not be able to file a report.

On the 29th morning the local BJP leaders marched to the Collector's office to submit a memorandum to him where they alleged that mass conversions are being carried out in the area by missionaries coming from the nearby state of Maharashtra.

Although the memorandum did not name any missionaries who were involved in the alleged forced and fraudulent conversions, however, as proof of the conversions the memorandum did contain the names of the injured Christians and the Christian women who had been raped the previous night.

"All this was to cover up the violence and rape committed by their own men against the Christian community." Pastor Davar adds.

The Christians, when they were finally released, went to the Bhagwanpura Police station to report the matter, only to face the ire of the Police Inspector Mr. Thakur.

As this is being written they were still in the police station. It was only after several phone calls were made by the author and the Member of the State Minority Commission Mrs. Indira Iyengar to the police station and to the Collector that Mr. Thakur agreed to register the case and file a First Information Report. Last heard the women were about to be taken for medical examination.

Also on the 28th afternoon in village Suklia Kunda, near Khargone, Kashi Ram a local Christian was chased and driven out of his home by local villagers, again for the crime of being a Christian. He too had come to the Bhagwanpura police station and has lodged a complaint against this atrocity. More details are awaited.