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Pastors attacked in Karnataka

8/1/08 India (Evangelical Fellowship of India) – Pastor Anand Huva Naik, was allegedly assaulted by a group of about 20 Hindutva extremists in Ankoal, Karwar district, Karnataka.

On July 27th at around 11.30am the radicals forced their way into the house of the pastor and disrupted the Sunday worship service. The miscreants assaulted the pastor and used abusive language against the pastor’s wife accusing them of false conversions. There were around 16 Christians who were attending the service.

The radicals lodged a complaint against pastor Naik and he was arrested under section 323, 504, 506 & 270 of the Indian Penal Code. Pastor Naik was produced before the district magistrate who then ordered that he should be kept under police custody for further interrogation.

Crime Officer, Mr. Maruti, informed our correspondent that Pastor Naik’s bail application was accepted and he was released on July 29th.

In another incident Pastor Basappa Durgappa was assaulted by a mob of about 40 intolerant Hindutva radicals on July 27th in Bagalkot, Karnataka.

This incident took place, at about 11.30 am when pastor was conducting the Sunday Worship in a rented room of Hotel Anugraha. There were around 200 Christians attending the worship service.

Hurling abuses the extremists forced entry into the room and disrupted the worship service by snatching the Bible from the pastor’s hand and from the congregation present. They then slapped and kicked the pastor repeatedly. About 100 Bibles were destroyed by the radicals.

Five Christians have sustained serious multiple injuries. Even innocent children attending the service were not spared. The radicals took hold of Priyanka, one of the 4 year old child in the congregation, and slammed her head on the wall causing her severe head injury, the condition of the child is stated to be serious.

The Pastor’s wife Renu along with two daughters Krupa (16), Manjula (15) and two orphans Yellamma (13) and Sudha (12) were injured in the attack.

While speaking to our correspondent, the officials informed us that the victims were sent to the Keruddi hospital for treatment and no case has been registered by either parties as both groups had reached a compromise.

EFI requests your prayers for the safety of the Christian community in Karnataka and for the speedy recovery of the victims injured in the assault.