BosNewsLife – A tense calm returned to two key areas in India after violence against Christians, in which at least five people were injured, news reports said Tuesday, October 8.
In Uttar Pradesh state Hindu militants reportedly disrupted a prayer gathering of 200 people in the home of a Christian family on Sunday, November 6. Accusing the family of converting Hindus to Christianity, “the extremists” confined the 200 people inside the house for hours, Compass Direct, a Christian news agency reported.
The militants allegedly threatened to kill the members of the family if any Hindus were seen again at such meetings. Eyewitnesses reportedly said that the militants belonged to the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of the influential Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The BJYM has warned that if all the members of the Khosle family are not arrested within 72 hours, its members would come on the streets to protest, Compass Direct quoted M.D. Jose, public relations officer of the advocacy group All India Christian Council as saying.
The violence came just days after a mob of about 150 “high-caste Hindus” reportedly attacked Dalit Christians attending an event at Bhoomas village in Gujarat state last Thursday, November 3, injuring at least 5 people. Compass Direct said two of them were hospitalized.
Hindu groups apparently assaulted the Dalit Christians for attending a cultural festival. The term Dalit is reserved for the so-called untouchables of India , who occupy the lowest place in India ‘s ancient caste system of Hinduism.
Seeing Dalit Christians at the program, people belonging to the Thakore caste got furious and launched a violent attack on them, said Samson Christian, joint secretary of the All India Christian Council. Hindu groups have not commented.
The reported violence underscored concern about attacks against Christians. Last Friday, November 4, an Indian government adviser on religious affairs expressed concern about a “fresh wave” of anti-Christian violence by Hindu militants in India, and urged the prime minister to intervene.
In comments obtained by the BosNewsLife New Delhi Bureau Friday, November 4, John Dayal, member of National Integration Council (NIC) of the Government of India said he “alerted Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh” and his cabinet about hundreds of attacks against Christians in several areas.
The NIC was set up by the government to deal with incidents of ethnic and religious violence and to promote tolerance towards different groups in the mainly Hindu nation of over one billion people.