Event is captured by news channels
By Vijayesh Lal
29th April 2007: Jaipur, Rajasthan
Walter Massey, a Christian pastor was attacked by VHP and Bajrang Dal goons without any provocation. At about 12:30 – 1:00 pm, all of a sudden 20 – 25 VHP and Bajrang Dal people stormed inside Pastor Walter’s home and started beating him.
The attackers were carrying weapons, iron rods, sticks etc. They mercilessly beat Pastor Massey in front of his family and ransacked his home. They broke furniture and destroyed property.
While this was going on a TV camera crew happened to notice the armed brigade with weapons and followed them as they entered Pastor Massey’s home and beat him up mercilessly. This is the version of the camera crew as told to Jaipur Christian Fellowship. There are several questions however. For example how did the camera crew manage to film the attackers while they were getting ready to attack Pastor Massey? How did the camera crew manage to get the tape to so many channels at such a short period of time etc?
All through the beating Pastor Massey was calling aloud the name of Jesus while people slapped him, beat him with sticks and with metal chairs. Pastor Walter Massey had enough courage to step out of his home and proclaim the love of Jesus Christ to the curious but unhelpful bystanders. He also later on spoke to the camera crew about the love of Jesus Christ and how as Christians we pray for our nation. After this he was carried away to the hospital.
The police initially refused to admit an FIR in this case. It was only when Jaipur Christian Fellowship and other organizations exerted pressure that they admitted the FIR. But even after most attackers can be plainly identified as shown on television for some hours at a stretch now, the police still claim that they are yet to identify the attackers and so have admitted an FIR which says that Pastor Massey had been attacked by unidentified men. The FIR does not mention the VHP or the Bajrang Dal in spite of the attackers themselves claiming on TV that they belonged to the VHP.
Right now Pastor Massey is in the hospital where he is on IV’s. He has difficulty in walking and his eye has been hurt badly. He was beaten up with iron rods so most of his injuries are internal, but he is unfazed. His family however is finding it difficult to cope with the situation. His wife Joyce saw him getting beaten up and his 6 year old daughter is terrified.
Pastor Massey has been in Rajasthan for a long time. He is an ex-worker of the India Every Home Crusade and right now runs his own house Church by the name of Masihi Sangati Kendra. He lives in Nandpuri, near Hawa Sadak, Jaipur, Rajasthan. He had been threatened for a long time by the Hindutva brigade and had even appealed to the police for protection but was given none.
We managed to get his phone number but he was not available so we spoke to the members of the Jaipur Christian Fellowship (JCF). Rev. Jagdish Chandra Sharma, the secretary of the JCF told us that they had spoken to the Home Minister, Mr. Gulab Chand Kataria and that he had assured them of firm action in the case. However on television Mr. Kataria denied any knowledge of the incident. Mr. Kataria is famous for his anti-Christian stance and played a major role in the persecution of the Thomases from
Meanwhile the mud-slinging and politicization of the incident continues. The Congress came out openly against the BJP led government and criticized them of practicing communalism to gain electoral mileage. The TV channels also blamed the BJP led government for its failure to curb the Hindutva brigade.
Please pray for the situation in Rajasthan and especially for Pastor Walter Massey. Please also send letters of concern, and faxes to the following:
Smt. Vasundhara Raje,
(Off) 0141-2227351, 2227462
(Res) 0141-2228712, 2228713, 2228705
Smt. Pratibha Patil,
Governor of Rajasthan
Shri Umrao Salodia
Prin. Secretary to Governor
Prime Minister of