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7 Christians injured in attack by Dharma Sena in Jabalpur

Global Council of Indian Christians

4/2/07 India (Persecution Update India) – 250 Christian Believers including women and children of the St. Paul’s Church belonging to the Church of North India, Jabalpur Madhya Pradesh, were attacked by Radical Hindu elements during the Palm Sunday procession.

Around 6 pm, a group of 30 – 35 Dharma Sena people led by Yogesh Agrawal and other office bearers of the Dharma Sena attacked the crowd.

The Sena activists were fully armed with swords, baseball bats, huge bamboo sticks and knives.

First the Dharma Sena people damaged the vehicles of the people breaking glasses and smashing windows and headlights.

Then they turned their attention to the Pastors beating them black and blue. Pastor James Masih who is the presbyter in charge for the St. Paul ‘s Church at Gokulpur was beaten mercilessly and has suffered internal injuries.

The Dharma Sena people then turned their attention to women and children and started beating them with baseball bats and sticks.

According to eye witnesses, women were pulled by their Chunnies (cloth used for head and body covering), which amounts to outraging the modesty of women. Even children were not spared. Pastor James Masih’s 5 year old son, who was playing the Congo drum, was beaten by bats.

The food which was for fasting people after the prayers was also spoiled by the attackers.

Eyewitness said that “The Dharma Sena people used a lot of abusive language against the women in particular. They also abused our religion and hurled insults at the Christian religion in general.”

When the Christians saw that they are surrounded a few of them started throwing stones at the Dharma Sena activists in self defense. Seeing this, the Sena people fled, but one of them while getting away lost his balance and was hurt a little because of falling down the cliff.

It was not until late that the police decided to admit an FIR against the Dharma Sena activists. One motorcycle belonging to a Dharma Sena man was captured by the police although we do not know about the status of the arrests of the attackers.