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World News

Christians in India attacked during private prayer meeting

by Alex Collett

Roughly 15 Christians have been attacked by right-wing Hindu fundamentalists in Sukma District in Chhattisgarh.

On the 21st October, there was a report by local sources that a mob group broke into a private home, where Christians had gathered for a prayer meeting at around 9pm. 

The believers were physically assaulted by the mob and they demanded that they forsake their religion. 

All the victims sustained minor injuries, and one of the victims reported that one of the attackers was an off-duty police officer.

Christian Solidartiy Worldwide's (CSW) founder president Mervyn Thomas said: "The persistent targeting of Christians by right-wing religious fundamentalists, including in their own homes, is extremely worrying, as are frequent allegations of law enforcement complicity in attacks perpetrated against religious minorities. 

"We urge authorities in Chhattisgarh to take firm legal action against police personnel who have had a hand in such incidents and urge the government to issue a clear message that such behaviour by law enforcement officers will not be tolerated. 

"We also call on the authorities to ensure that the victims of this attack receive all the necessary medical and legal support they require, and to provide assurances that they can gather safely to practice their religion in public and in private."

The victims first attempted to register a First Information Report (FIR) after the attack.

This forced the police to open an investigation, at the Golampalli Police Station in Sukma district.

However it wasn't until the 25th October, that the Chhattisgarh Christian Forum (CGCF) received further information that the government had suspended three police personnel including the Christian constable who was assaulted. 

Furthermore Arun Pannalal, the president of the CGCF told CSW that the three police personnel were arrested under Section 107 of the Indian Penal Code, which is generally used in cases where two communities have fought against one another, rather than in incidents such as these in which one group has clearly targeted another.

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