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Tamil Nadu: Hindu radicals beat up women and children of a Pentecostal community

Since the Hindu nationalist Bharathiya Janatha Party’s (BJP) rise to power in mid-May, India has seen a spike in increasingly bold attacks against Christian minorities. In an act of violence that is sadly growing less and less uncommon, a group of Hindu nationalists broke into a Christian home when a pastor visited to pray for an injured child. They beat everyone present with iron bars and other weapons; even the women and children were not spared.

8/7/2014 India (AsiaNews) – “There must be an end to this increasing distortion of the Christian mission and the physical violence perpetrated on innocent people, including women and children” demands Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC).  He was commenting to AsiaNews on the umpteenth attack suffered by a Pentecostal community at the hands of Hindu fundamentalists.

The incident occurred on August 3 in Coimbatore, a city in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The Rev. Simon Stanley, of the Apostolic Christian Church of Perur, went to visit Mr. Bagavathi, a faithful of the nearby village of Goundanur. The man asked the pastor to pray for his 12 year old daughter, who had a broken hand.

Suddenly, a group of 10 Hindu nationalists broke into the house, barred the door from the inside and assaulted all present. The attackers also beat the women and children, using iron bars and other instruments found in the house. Many were severely injured in the attack, to the point of being brought to hospital. The Rev. Stainley is still recovering from the trauma suffered.

Perur Police opened a case and are investigating the episode. Two people were arrested for the attack.

“The Pentecostal Christians” – explains the GCIC president to AsiaNews – “are an easy target for the extremist Hindus, with police turning a blind eye to requests for help from vulnerable faithful and even ignoring the atrocities committed against women and children.”

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