Six Christians Badly Injured in India’s Odisha State Following Attack by Radicals

ICC Note: Six Christians in India’s Odisha state were badly injured after they were attacked by Hindu extremists on February 27. The incident was precipitated by the death and burial of a Christian child. According to reports, local Hindus complained about the burial of the Christian child within the village and only allowed the burial to take place after the Christian family paid the Hindu villages $80.00. Following the burial, Hindu extremists attacked the Christian family and torched their home.    

03/07/2018 India (World Watch Monitor) – Six Christians were badly injured and a house torched in an attack by Hindu extremists in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, following the death and burial of a Christian baby.

The incident occurred on 27 February in Tangaguda, a town in Malkangiri District, where three Christian families live alongside 35 Hindu families, a local source told World Watch Monitor.

After one of the Christian families lost their two-year-old daughter, they prepared for her burial but were opposed by Hindus who demanded that the girl be buried outside the village, the source said.

The bereaved family explained to them that they would bury the child on land they owned, the source said, but the Hindus reportedly only allowed them go ahead after they paid them the equivalent of around US $80.

World Watch Monitor was told that that same night, after they had buried the little girl, approximately 30 Hindu extremists arrived at their home and set it on fire. While the mother, Debe Nande, was able to escape, her husband, Sukra Markhami, and their other daughter, 12-year-old Savitha, were beaten and left unconscious. Savitha sustained a critical head injury.

The source reported that some of the other Christian families who came to help were also attacked. Jaga Markhami, 52, was left with a broken hand while another neighbour, Danga Markhami, 45, sustained a broken leg as he tried to fight off the attackers. Two others were also injured and taken to hospital.

Catholic priest Manoj Kumar Nayak told Agenzia Fides: “In Orissa [the former name for Odisha] there is still hatred and discrimination against Christians, and there are failings to meet the legitimate needs of Christian minorities.”

While those injured are being treated in hospital, the other Christians have been taken to a safe place elsewhere, India-based Christian watchdog Persecution Relief reported.

It also said a complaint was filed with the police, who tried to mediate and establish a ‘Peace Agreement’ between the two parties.

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