India Protests Against Killing Of Social Worker

Sunday, June 21, 2009

By Worthy News Senior Mission Correspondent Dr. John M. Lindner and BosNewsLife's Stefan J. Bos

krishnadas-12 Social worker Yengkhom Krishnadas Singh was killed earlier this month.

NEW DELHI, INDIA (Worthy News) -- Students in New Delhi on Sunday, June 21, joined massive protests against the alleged reluctance of authorities to detain those involved in killing a social worker who supported Christians, other religious minorities and 'lower castes' in this predominantly Hindu nation.

Police recovered the body of 38-year-old Yengkhom Krishnadas Singh on June 12, just two days after he was kidnapped at gunpoint from his family home in Imphal, the capital of India's northeastern state of Manipur.

Singh, who is survived by his wife and two-year-old daughter, suffered at least one gun shot to his thigh, investigators said.

The murder happened although his wife, Yengkhom Ongbi Bimola Devi, reportedly paid 2.5 million India Rupees ($5,200) as part of a negotiated ransom of some 25 million India Rupees ($520,000).

But, "The justice demanded by the bereaved family members of Krishnadas has been delayed by the Manipur Government despite the fact that clues leading to the culprits are traced," added Madhu Chandra, a spokesperson of the 'North East Support Center and Helpline' aid group, an organizer of Sunday's rally.


Indian media quoted Manipur police however as saying they already detained three suspects, identified as Seram Ashalata, Thounaojam Ingocha Singh and Thokchom Nando Singh, an inmate who allegedly coordinated the attack from his jail by using a mobile phone. Thokchom Nando Singh, not related to the social worker, was jailed since 2003 for allegedly kidnapping and murdering a young daughter of a Manipur minister.

The killing of Singh has re-ignited a debate about ongoing violence against 'lower castes' in India's ancient system of Hinduism, to which the social worker belonged. Human rights watchers say officials and police may have been involved in his and other murders of lower castes in recent months, by indirectly supporting militants or criminal gangs.

Despite his background, Singh managed to climb the social ladder, reaching out across religious divisions, helping impoverished communities, including Christians.

He also was involved in building the Union Baptist Church and other projects in his birth place Kakching under government backed schemers, reports said.


Last week over 10,000 people, including social workers, students, human rights activists and scholars, were seen marching from Kakching to Imphal to collect the Singh's body and bury him in his birth place.

There were also demonstrations reported against the Manipur government's alleged inaction in the case in several parts of the state, with shops, offices and business establishment closed in several areas.

Sunday's protest at Delhi University included a "condolence service" to raise awareness of media, organizers said. "The justice to the deceased and bereave family could be possibly given with the help of media," spokesperson Chandra told Worthy News and its news partner BosNewsLife.  ( Read more from Dr. John M. Lindner via: )