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Hindu extremists storm church in India, beat Christians with iron rods

Country/Region: India, South and East Asia

Over 30 Christians were hospitalised following an attack by Hindu extremists, who beat a group of worshippers with iron rods. It was the first of three anti-Christian incidents in India over three days. 

Christians in India are vulnerable to attack by Hindu extremists
Christians in India are vulnerable to attack by Hindu extremists

Around 100 members of three Hindu nationalist groups, Bajrang Dal, Rashtritya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) stormed on 8 February a church building in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh, where a three-day prayer event was being held.

The attackers accused the Christians of forcibly converting Hindus and beat them with iron rods. More than 30 Christians required hospital treatment for serious injuries.

Police have refused to lodge a complaint against the assailants and instead filed a counterclaim against the church.

The following day, two church leaders were assaulted by a group of Hindu extremists in Nagpur, Madhya Pradesh, during a prayer meeting. They were taken to the emergency department of the nearest hospital.

Police again refused to record a case against the attackers, saying that the church building where the gathering was taking place was not a registered place of worship.

The third incident took place in Adilabad district, Andhra Pradesh, on Sunday 10 February. Hindu nationalists complained to the police about Anand Rao, who had come to deliver a lecture on the Bible. They accused him of forcibly converting Hindus, and, without checking the veracity of the allegation, police took Anand into custody. He was released on bail the next day.    

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