NEW DELHI: As many as 29 incidents of mob violence have taken place against Christians in the first month of this year, an NGO has claimed, seeking special laws against mob violence.
According to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)-India, 13 states witnessed incidents of violence against Christians with Uttar Pradesh leading at nine cases. The NGO has also questioned the police’s role in such incidents saying not a single FIR has been registered in these cases.
According to the NGO’s report, 26 women and 25 children have been injured in these incidents but no reactions have come from the political community.
“The year is not much different from 2018 for Christians in India except, on an average, if 2018 witnessed 20 incidents per month, 2019 has begun with 29 incidents in January. Even on Republic Day, a peaceful prayer meeting at a house in Kotra tehsil of Rajasthan’s Udaipur district was disrupted by extremist elements throwing stones and shouting slogans against Christians. As usual, another false allegation of conversion was levelled,” the NGO said on Tuesday.
Describing the modus operandi, ADF said, “A mob accompanied by police arrives at the prayer services, shouts slogans, beats up the congregations...Then pastors are arrested or detained by police under false allegation of conversion.”
The report has also cited an incident in Chhatisgarh, which has a Congress government, wherein the Gondwana community decided to excommunicate those who attend Christian prayers in their village. It has said 10 Christians were beaten and bibles were torn in this incident.
Director of ADF India Tehmina Arora said, “It is worrying to see horrendous acts of mobocracy still continuing after a slew of directions from the Supreme Court. It is high time special laws are enacted ...”
Such incidents, according to ADF, have also taken place in Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu where some Christians were allegedly dragged to Hindu temples and forced to worship Hindu Gods by the mob.
Incidents cited by the NGO included one from Goa, where a woman was allegedly threatened with dire consequences if she hung a star outside her house. “In Karnataka, a pastor was hit with an iron rod. In another incident, a mob set on fire the building materials kept at the site of an under-construction church...” it said.