EFI News: 11 Christians arrested in Orissa

February 18, 2010

Orissa police on February 3 arrested 11 Christians based on the complaint lodged by Hindu extremists of ‘assault’ in Badimunda village, Kandhamal, Orissa.

According to our correspondent Rev. Ashish Kumar Parida , about 5 Hindu extremists threatened two believers identified as Sumit Pradhan and Samuel Nayak not to worship Jesus anymore or face dire consequences, further telling them there is no place for church and Christians in the area.

The extremists started beating the Christians when the latter verbalized their rights to worship Jesus. People from both groups started swelling up at the spot but the two Christians managed to flee the scene and relocated for safety measures.

Showing up at the same spot on the next day at about 7:30 p.m., the extremists searched for the two Christians, stoned the house of a Christian identified as Dibyakand Nayak and forcefully entered into his house from the back door.

Somehow one extremist was hurt in the process and injured his head. After seeing this, the extremists mercilessly beat up the Christian, verbally abused him of his faith and dragged him to the police station.

Police registered First Information Report (FIR) against Diyakand Nayak and 10 other Christians under Sections 34, 341,323, 324 and 294 of the Indian Penal Code for acts done in common intention, punishment of wrongful restraint, for voluntarily causing hurts, causing hurt by dangerous weapons and obscene acts and songs respectively.

Area Christian leaders applied for advance bail in higher court. Bail was granted to the 10 Christians except Dibyakand Nayak who remain in police custody at press time.

Christians in Orissa faced a deadly spate of attacks after Hindu extremists stirred up mobs by falsely accusing Christians of killing Hindu leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati on Aug. 23, 2008. More than 10,000 families were displaced from their homes by the violence. Since then, an estimated 1,200 families have left the area, reported church leaders. Between 200 and 300 families reside in private displacement camps in the district, and more than 4,400 families still live in tents, makeshift shelters or the remnants of their damaged houses.

Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
General Secretary
Evangelical Fellowship of India
New Delhi, India

Evangelical Fellowship of India (established 1951) is a charter member of World Evangelical Alliance, an accredited NGO with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

Last modified:
Thursday,February 18, 2010