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ICC Note: Indian police did nothing after Christian families reported that a Hindu nationalist mob had attacked a church fellowship on April 5th. The Christians, living in eastern India, were told to be silent on the matter as they fled their homes following the attack. The police justified their actions by telling the Christians that if there is a First Information Report (FIR) against the attackers, there should be a counter FIR report against the victims of the attack as well.

04/20/2018 India (World Watch Monitor) – Christian families have fled their homes in eastern India after telling police a Hindu nationalist mob had attacked a church fellowship meal, only to be met with attempts to silence them.

Pastor Kasi Ram told World Watch Monitor that only three Christian families remained in the village of Bakel – in Chhattisgarh state, governed by the Hindu nationalist BJP – after a mob physically attacked attendees of a Bible study who were about to eat together. “The rest have fled from the village in fear of being killed. They are intimidated by the police’s behaviour,” he said.

“Over the past one week the police had been telling the Christians that if there should be an FIR [First Information Report] against people who attacked you, there will be a counter FIR against you as well,” the Christians’ lawyer, who asked not to be named for security reasons, told World Watch Monitor. “Every day they [the Christians] are being subjected to some kind of pressure to silence them from taking up the matter before the court.”

The lawyer was speaking after a group of around 35 Christians meeting in Bakel said they were attacked on 5 April by a mob after a Bible study at a house belonging to Emmanuel Free Methodist Church. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh was due to visit the area the following day, ahead of elections this year, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited nearby Bastar District on 14 April amid tight security.

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