A Christian woman in India’s Madhya Pradesh state was raped and murdered last month. It is still unclear whether her religious identity was the cause of the attack, but local Christian women reported regular harassment from the local Hindus. Christians in India have come under increasing attack since the rise of the current government. Led by the Hindu nationalist BJP, impunity for Hindu extremists attacking religious minorities has become commonplace. Unfortunately, this impunity over the past two years has led to attacks on Christians growing in both number and intensity.
9/13/2016 India (World Watch Monitor) – Four men were today convicted of the fatal gang rape of a medical student in Delhi – a story that has grabbed the world’s attention. Meanwhile, a little further south, the case of a Christian woman who suffered the same fate has gone relatively unnoticed.
The 30-year-old was raped and killed on August 29 in Bakoudi village in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
The woman, whose name has not been released to protect her family’s security and privacy, was found the next morning by her mother-in-law.
Witnesses told World Watch Monitor she had suffered multiple stab wounds to her torso and had been strangled with her own sari.
Two suspects, both Hindus, have been arrested. Mahesh Dohre, 23, who worked with the victim’s husband, and Durgesh Potfode, 25, are residents of Bakoudi. They have both been released. It is unclear whether they will face further official charges.
The local Christian community has been shocked by the event and expressed concerns about its vulnerability to local authorities.
It is uncertain whether the attack took place because of the woman’s faith, but Christian women often report threats in the area.