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ICC Note:

A Christian pastor and his son were severely injured when they were assaulted by Hindu radicals wielding steel rods and a butcher’s knife in a religiously motivated attacks. Attacks on Christians and their places of worship continue to escalate in both number and severity. Many claim that the current BJP-led government’s inability or unwillingness to confront Hindu radical groups operating across India is only adding fuel to this growing problem. Will the pastor and his son received the justice they deserve after the brutal assault? 

08/06/2017 India (Morning Star News) – Hard-line Hindus used steel rods and a butcher’s knife to attack a father-son pastoral team in Tamil Nadu state, India, injuring the brain tissue of the elder clergyman, sources said.

In Thyagaraja Nagar, in the Sirkali area of Nagapattinam District, 28-year-old pastor Daniel Jebraj was returning home on July 19 at about 7:45 p.m. when he noticed five men drinking alcohol, smoking and ridiculing Christianity in front of his church gate, he said.

“I told them this is not the right place for drinking and smoking activities,” Jebraj told Morning Star News, adding that he asked them to leave. “I was not aware they were waiting for me. They pulled out the weapons and attacked me.”

As they struck with the knife, wooden sticks and steel rods, his 61-year-old father, pastor Muniyandi Elangoan Jebraj, rushed out to help him.

“They were spewing very dangerous words – I can’t say such words, they are highly derogatory and foul,” Daniel Jebraj said. “My father came out running, and he too was beaten.”

Christians identified the assailants as members of the Hindu Makkal Katchi, a wing of the Hindu extremists Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the state.

The elder pastor received a CAT scan of his head at Sirkali Government Hospital in Nagapattinam District. Dr. Pon Rajendran told Morning Star News that the two pastors suffered injuries from repeated battering with a knife, wooden sticks and steel rods.

“Soft tissue in his brain is injured,” Rajendran said of Elangoan Jebraj. “And Daniel’s bruises and cuts had to be stitched.”

Elangaon Jebraj was referred to Nagapattinam Medical College to consult a neurologist for further treatment.

Superintendent of Police Abhinav Kumar told Morning Star News that a First Information Report (FIR) was filed against two people, and that they appeared in court and were sent to judicial custody, but Daniel Jebraj said only one suspect was arrested plus an innocent young man who took no part in the beating.

Kumar denied the religious motive for the attack.

“It is a simple, independent incident,” he said. “There is no groupism, no enmity between two groups. One of the accused belongs to a minority.”

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