Christian Leaders Assaulted by Hindu Radicals in India’s Karnataka State

11/09/2018 India (International Christian Concern) – A Christian prayer meeting was attacked by a mob of more than 100 Hindu radicals in Santhoshnagar in Hubli city, located in India’s southern state of Karnataka. The attack took place on November 1 and left several Christians injured including 36-year-old Arjun S. Hattimatur who sustained a serious head injury.

According to sources reach by International Christian Concern (ICC), the attacked Christians belong to the Ceylon Pentecostal Mission and took place while they were having their weekly prayer meeting in a Christian home in Santhoshnagar, Hubli. A mob of over 100 radicals, led by Manju Teradal and a media crew, arrived at the Christian home at 7:45 p.m. The mob stormed into the house and started beating the Christians without explanation.

Arjun S. Athimathi, who sustained a serious head injury, spoke to ICC and said, “We were beaten up in the presence of the police. They were watching us like spectators. We were taken to the police station on the false charges that we were involved in the forcible conversions and the police filed an FIR (First Information Report) against us.”

Arjun claims he was targeted because he was leading the prayer meeting in the absence of the local pastor. The Hindu radicals hit him on back of his head making a deep cut which bled for several hours before the injured Christians received medical attention.

Local Christians remain terrified, including the Arjun’s wife who fears sending her husband outside. Since the attack, Arjun has stayed indoors fearing further attacks

A counter FIR was filed by the Christians against the attackers FIR No. 0165/208, under IPC sections 506,504,147,149,148,344,143,323,354,448,324.

This is the not the first time,” Arjun told ICC. “We were attacked twice in the last few years, but then the police acted fairly and the rule of law was applied. In this case, nothing seems to be working for us as both the media and police took the side of the attackers.

In a similar fashion, Pastor Srikanth Durgappa was violently attacked by 25 Hindu radicals on November 4 while leading Sunday worship in a place called Lokapura, located in the Bagalkot District of Karnataka. Pastor Srikanth was dragged for a kilometer to the local police station as he was beaten up. He was further assaulted by the police. As a result, Pastor Srikanth suffered a fractured chin bone.

The radical further accused Pastor Srikanth of converting Hindus to Christianity by offering them money and gifts. The police kept Pastor Srikanth until 7 p.m. and released him with the warning to not conduct prayers any more in the village.

For interviews with William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org.

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