by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Chanting “kill him, kill him,” a gang of suspected Hindu extremists brutally beat up a pastor and his family at their home in Chandauli, in India’s Uttar Pradesh state on January 14, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports. Christians have come under intensifying persecution from Hindu radicals since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014.
CSW reports that Pastor Rakesh Babu, his wife, brother, and son had gathered to pray in the tiny parsonage attached to the church the pastor has led for 15 years, when a mob of eight men stormed in at around 10.15 pm and attacked the family with wooden poles. “The armed men reportedly hit Pastor Babu on his knees, head and back repeatedly, and kept saying “Kill him, kill him” as they beat him up,” CSW said in their report. “His wife was hit on the throat so hard that she started bleeding, and his brother also sustained injuries.”
The attack was reported first to Jalilpur police station and then to Mughalsarai, but the police did nothing to assist the Babu family, CSW said. Pastor Babu told CSW: “ It was almost like the police and the attackers were working together against me. It was well-organized. There were some politicians involved too because I overheard a BJP man saying on the phone that the attackers were his people.”
Moreover, Pastor Babu said: “Now, it's even more dangerous for me. I am still receiving threats. The attackers, some of whom are known to me, roam freely now."
Decrying the lack of police action in this case as “deplorable,” CSW Founder President Mervyn Thomas said in a statement about the attack: "We urge the Indian government to ensure Pastor Babu and his family are provided with police protection and that measures are taken to protect the family from further attack, including the arrest and prosecution of those threatening them. An independent review into police conduct in this case is also essential."