Friday, December 01, 2006

Pastors beaten up by RSS activists in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh

By Vijayesh Lal

30th November 2006:

Jhabua: Pastor Hatey Singh Gundiya and Pastor Gokul Gundiya were attacked and beaten up by a mob of RSS activists at about 10:00 in the morning.

This took place at Bus stand Khardu near Umria village where the Pastors had come to take a bus to Jhabua. They were going to Jhabua to sell peanuts in the market as part of their family responsibility. Jhabua is about 15 kilometers from this place.

When the pastors were waiting for the bus to arrive, suddenly Karmu Damor and Mukesh Nath from that area and active RSS members arrived at the scene along with 6 – 7 more people and started abusing the Pastors for they knew that Hatey Singh and Gokul had been Christians for about 10 years now.

They questioned them as to what the pastors were doing in their area. When the pastors said that they are not here to preach but to go to Jhabua to sell peanuts, suddenly Karmu Damor and Mukesh Nath attacked them without provocation with big bamboo sticks. They beat them while around 10 of their friends around surrounded the Pastors.

Hatey Singh has been badly hurt on his hands and feet as a result of the stick wounds, while Gokul has been hurt on his eyes. His eyes have swollen as a result of the beatings, but he is still able to see.

Only when the people in the bus stand who also knew the pastors objected to the beatings did the RSS activists stop. But they were still threatening them when the Bus arrived. As soon as that happened Gokul and Hatey Singh climbed on to the bus to escape but the RSS activists not only pursued the bus but also made it stop in order to beat them again. But they were unable to enter the bus because of the fear of passengers and the staff.

Local pastor friends took Hatey Singh and Gokul to the police station in Jhabua where an FIR has been lodged against the attackers under sections 323 and 504 of the Indian Penal Code. The police also sent them for medical examination.