Christians living in Maharashtra state in India fear returning home after being attacked by Hindu radicles two weeks ago. It was reported that police stood by and watched the attack unfold. Christians living in India are often attacked by Hindu radicals. Also, many of these attackers never face justice because the local government refuses to get involved. Christians are left to fend for themselves when attacked by angry mobs of Hindu radicals wielding clubs.
1/15/2013 India (MorningStarNews) – After Hindu nationalists in Maharashtra state attacked Christians two weeks ago because they refused to honor a tribal deity – violence that led many to flee their homes – the extremists yesterday assaulted remaining Christians as they met for worship, sources said.
As police stood by watching, about 100 club-bearing Hindu extremists disrupted worship at the house of Ravindra Shankar Ander in Tamsai village, Thane District, and kicked, slapped and beat those present with their fists, Sainath Amboraote told Morning Star News by phone. The extremists did not use their wooden clubs as they did in the attack two weeks ago.
“Around 20 police were mute spectators to the attack, and a woman, Lata Raote, was slapped repeatedly by women extremists,” Amboraote said.
More than 100 Christians from the area are afraid to return to their homes after Hindu extremists on Dec. 30 beat worshippers with wooden clubs for refusing to contribute to the festival for the tribal deity, police and church members said. Men and women said to belong to Hindu nationalist groups in Tamsai village and neighboring hamlets in Thane District stormed the worship service of the Yehovah Prathana Group Tamsai congregation in Tamsai.
Cursing in rage, they kicked, punched and struck the tribal Christians with clubs, damaged a harmonium and tore Bibles, the 20-year-old Amboraote said. The extremists nearly choked Raju Wadali to death, and they beat his wife, Chanda Raju Wadali, and sister on the face, chest and back, Amboraote said. Repeated blows left the legs of Raju Bhoir swollen; Bharat Patil was beaten on his face, chest and back; and Shankar Ander – whose home was attacked yesterday – was kicked and slapped, the Christian said by telephone, adding that the extremists are planning further attacks.
Police Inspector Vijay Powar of Manor police station said the hard-line Hindus attacked because the Christians refused to pay their contribution for the festival of the tribal village deity. Claiming that the villagers did not object to Christianity itself, he said they became angry as they perceived that the Christians were renouncing their “tribal identity.”
Powar added that both the Christian groups and the Hindu extremists came to the station to complain after the Dec. 30 attack, but that neither party registered a formal complaint.
Threatening area residents for converting to Christianity and thus turning from the tribal deity, area Hindus have denied them access to water, firewood and their monthly supply of grains at the ration shop, according to the Times of India.
The 100 tribal converts to Christianity who have fled, including women and children, have taken shelter in relatives’ houses in distant localities, fearing attacks on their homes, the newspaper reported.