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Two Young Christian Women, Minor Tortured

December 22 (Compass Direct News) – A group of Hindu extremists in the southern state of Karnataka have tortured two young women and a girl who converted to Christianity in an attempt to “reconvert” them to Hinduism.

The incident took place in Guruparahalli area, 12 kilometers (8 miles) from Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka, on December 14. A man identified only as Ramesh broke into the house of three sisters – Jyothi, 20; Nandhini, 18; and Jalaja, 16. He pressured them to reconvert and beat them for refusing.

The victims, who work in a garment factory, attend the Assembly of God church. Ramesh, who used to live nearby until three months ago, had been opposing the sisters since they converted to Christianity from Hinduism a few months ago.

“The extremists intruded into the house of the women in the evening and got violent upon finding a Bible and other Christian literature on a table,” Dr. Sajan K. George, national president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), told Compass.

The intruders told the sisters that they would give them whatever they could ask for, and that Jesus would do nothing for them. The sisters did not react. This made the extremists more furious, and they threw the Bible and Christian literature on the floor and stamped on them.

“The fanatics also replaced a Christian calendar with that of Sai Baba, a Hindu god,” George said. “They pressured the women to worship the picture of Sai Baba and apply vermillion on their forehead as a sign of their conversion to Hinduism.”

When the sisters refused to do so, the extremists beat them. “They pulled the youngest sister’s hair, dragged her and banged her against the wall,” he said. “They beat the other two sisters also very brutally. One of them fainted, as she is an asthmatic patient.”

Sadly, he added, the parents did not come to rescue their daughters. “The fanatics continued to beat and torture the sisters for over four hours and left the place only at 2 a.m.,” George said.

The sisters’ father is allegedly an alcoholic and lives on the income of his daughters.

Fearing further tensions, the three sisters took a taxi and left for their uncle’s place in Bangalore at about 4 a.m. Upon learning about the persecution, the victim’s uncle, identified only as Natesh, lodged a police complaint.

The police arrested Ramesh, who was released on bail on December 20. The police are investigating the case.

George said the December 14 break-in was the third time Hindu extremists had barged into the sisters’ house. Ramesh and others first broke into their house on December 13 to warn them against attending church and reading Christian literature.

When they returned on the morning of December 14, they found Nandhini reading the Bible, which infuriated them. They warned the sisters again and promised to come back in the evening, when they attacked them.

Separately, in Revadihal village on the outskirts of Bangalore, local residents on Tuesday (December 19) pelted stones at a group of Christian missionaries and accused them of converting Hindus.

According to Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), no one was injured as the missionaries took shelter in a van they were traveling in and managed to flee from the village.

Tension prevailed in the village after the incident, but the situation was soon brought under control, said IANS.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) demanded that the government initiate steps to check conversions.