"Second Class Citizens": 15 Christians arrested for alleged forced conversions


by Nirmala Carvalho
Police in Puttur in Karnataka stop celebrations to "protect" the Church, surrounded by Hindu radicals. The religious authorities called to testify and handed rules for future prayer services. These included the obligation to notify the police. Catholic leader: "In secular India, Christians are persecuted and vulnerable."
Bangalore (AsiaNews) - The Christian minority "is vulnerable and subjected to harassment and persecution by both extremist as well as authorities, who are responsible for protecting citizens. Clearly, Christians are considered second-class citizens in secular India”, says Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC).


Karnataka-Eight christians acquitted in forced conversion

Karnataka: eight Christians acquitted in forced conversion case
by Nirmala Carvalho
A Puttur court finds the defendants innocent. They were arrested in 2007 for proselytising among Hindus. For Christian leader, "Christians are threatened, harassed and insulted by Hindu right-wing extremists, who disrupt their prayers in private homes”.

Bangalore (AsiaNews) – A court in Puttur in Karnataka acquitted eight Christians accused of forced conversion, ruling that the defendants were innocent of the charges of forcing a Hindu to convert to Christianity.


Karnataka, government compensates Christian victims of 2008 attacks

Karnataka, government compensates Christian victims of 2008 attacks
by Nirmala Carvalho
The 12 victims will receive a reward of 15 thousand rupees (200 €). The state has recognized the responsibility of Hindu radicals. The violence erupted shortly after the rise to power of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Mangalore (AsiaNews) - The government of the Indian state of Karnataka (south-west of the country)has decided to compensate 12 victims who have suffered injuries in the attacks against Christians in 2008 with 15 thousand rupees (about 200 euro).
They include some nuns and women who were demonstrating peacefully against the brutality of the radicals. Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), spoke to AsiaNews about "deep satisfaction at the decision of the state authorities."

In September 2008, militants of the Bajrang Dal [youth wing of the Sangh Parivar, the umbrella organization that brings together paramilitary Hindu associations - ed] attacked more than 20 evangelical and Protestant churches and places of worship in Mangalore, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and other districts, including Bangalore and Kolar.
In 2011 the judge BK Somasekhara presented a report which excluded all government and police responsibility in the attacks on churches. The judge’s report, however, was rejected in 2014 by the Karnataka government as "dictated by political motives to exonerate the radical Hindu Sangh Parivar". The National Human Rights Commission of India recognized the use of excessive force by police and awarded damages of 15 thousand rupees (€ 200) for those who suffered violence.


Catholic prayer hall vandalised in Karnataka

Mangalore, February 25, 2015: A Catholic prayer hall on the outskirts of Karnataka’s coastal city of Mangaluru was vandalised by stone-throwing miscreants, police said Wednesday. A state minister said some anti-social elements were trying to “create insecurity and panic in society”.
“The incident seems to have occurred late Tuesday or in the early hours of Wednesday, resulting in the St. Josep Vaz prayer hall’s window panes being damaged. It is a case of mischief,” Mangaluru police commissioner S. Mururgan told IANS here, about 350 km from Bengaluru.
A case has been registered against unidentified persons on a complaint filed by the parish priest.