Pastors and Worshipers Attacked by Hindu Radicals and Arrested in India

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

By James Varghese
Special to ASSIST News Service

KARNATAKA, INDIA (ANS) -- Hindu radicals attacked worshipers attending a Christian meeting.

The alleged incident occurred in Tumkur district, Karnataka State, India.

According to a news story reported on, on July 31 at about 9 p.m, a group of between 20 and 25 Bajrang Dal (Monkey Brigade) activists burst into a prayer meeting held in the home of a Christian believer called Ramakrishna.

The story reported that the radicals seriously attacked those gathered there, especially pastors H. D. Shivashankar, Ramaiah, and three young men of the church, Yesuraj, Jeevan and Sarkar.

The website reported that all of the victims were seriously injured, and beaten with wooden clubs during the attack. The story also reported that there were 18 people at the meeting, and Bibles were shredded and burned right in front of them.

According to the story, the radicals then dragged the pastors and other Christians to the nearest police station, where a police officer verbally and physically assaulted the victims.

The story stated that at about 10 p.m., the victims telephoned Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) President Sajan K. George and Coordinator Lakshminarayana Gowda. GCIC officials attempted to contact a police inspector, who said he was ill and unable to do anything.

The report said GCIC officials then approached the State Minorities Commission on Aug. 1. An official then contacted the Superintendent of Police of Tumkur, Dr.Harsha, who the report said defended his men's actions.

The defense was reportedly on the grounds that the police were acting on a complaint from a person named Keerthi Kumar, a rich mill owner in town, who claimed he was a victim of forced Christian conversion.

According to the story, the pastors were jailed in the early morning hours of Aug.1.

The website reported that GCIC’s Gowda went to Turuvekere police station, but police refused to accept a complaint or file a report against the alleged perpetrators of the attack. The radicals also attempted to beat up GCIC officials.

The story on reported that town lawyers refused to offer legal assistance to the team attempting to assist the pastors.