India Hindu Militants Threaten Massive Rape And Killing Of Orphans

Thursday, July 6, 2006

By BosNewsLife News Center

NEW DELHI, INDIA (BosNewsLife) -- Over 150 young Dalit girls remained in a state of shock Thursday, July 6, just hours after Hindu militants reportedly attempted to rape and kill them in an orphanage run by a major evangelical mission group in the Indian state of Rajasthan.

In an open letter to India's President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the leader of advocacy group Global Council of Indian Christians, Sajan K. George, said the attack against the girls, who were all under 18, took place late Wednesday, July 5, in an Emmanuel Mission International (EMI) orphanage in the city of Kota.

He said the attack began at around 2300 hours local time when the "perpetrators tried to burn down the transformer [of the orphanage]" and to kill and rape the girls. However the fire spread out inviting the attention of many persons," George wrote in the letter obtained by BosNewsLife.

"The uncontrolled fire" therefore "saved the lives of over 150 orphan girls." He suggested that the Hindu authorities were encouraging tensions as they "were trying to extract false complaints against Emmanuel Orphanages" amid anger over the Christian support for Dalits, who are considered to be the "lowest caste" in India’s ancient system of Hinduism. Several Hindu groups have also complained about the spread of Christianity among Dalits.


In his letter to the president, George stressed however that Kota had been" famous throughout India for its educational excellence [and] peaceful existence for centuries.

Followers of different religions had been living in harmony and peace" before it was turned into a "hotbed" of "terrorism" by "elf serving fascist forces in Rajasthan uninterrupted by the central government or rule of the law," he said in the letter.

Investigators have expressed concern over what they consider a "witch hunt" by Rajasthan's Social Welfare Minister Madan Dilavar against EMI founder Archbishop M.A. Thomas and his son, EMI President Rev Samuel Thomas, who supporters say could be re-arrested.


Samuel Thomas was released in May on bail after 47 days in prison under charges related to alleged anti-Hindu activities and "forced conversions" while his father had received an arrest warrant on similar accusations, including the publication of a perceived anti-Hindu book. Both have denied any involvement in the book

The book 'Haqikat' or "a bunch of truths", was written by a Kerala attorney, M.J. Matthew. He is currently in hiding in South India after death threats, BosNewsLife learned.

"Archbishop M.A. Thomas is a 71-year-old Padmashree Award recipient from the President of India, has authored over 60 books running into thousands of pages is a cancer survivor and a person undergoing treatment for many other diseases for high blood pressure to Arthritis," George wrote. He said Minister Dilavar, made over 50 provocative statements and threats against Archbishop Thomas and EMI "violating the spirit of constitution and the oath of office of as a minister."


He said "a death warrant…for the head of Archbishop M.A. Thomas was issued by the supporters of Mr. Dilavar." Last week schools, bank accounts and offices of EMI reopened after being closed for four months by local authorities. Operating licenses were "temporarily" restored, pending a judicial hearing scheduled for this week.

The government has defended its actions saying it follows the law, which would ban people from being converted to another religion against their will. However critics claim the unclear legislation is an attempt by the BJP-led government to curb evangelical Christianity in the state and mission groups such as EMI.

"The cancellation of the licences and freezing of bank accounts [of EMI] were taken unilaterally without the due process of law. the Rajasthan Police," George wrote. "We appeal to your Excellency to direct the State government to...defreeze the bank funds and release all the arrested [mission workers] unconditionally," he asked, adding it was important to continue an independent investigation in Rajasthan and to demand that the social Welfare Minister steps down till all the enquiries are completed.

He urged the deployment of central reserve police to protect the properties of Emmanuel and those working and living in its different institutions. EMI is involved in several humanitarian activities and leads a native church movement that supports 10,000 orphans. It is supported by Hopegivers International, a US-based mission group.

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