11/25/2020, 09.13
INDIA
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Bloody attack on Chhattisgarh Christians preparing to celebrate Christmas. Hundreds injured.

by Nirmala Carvalho

The armed attack unleashed last night at 2 am and continued until morning. The Christians who had gathered since yesterday slept in a common tent and were attacked. The village is isolated and no one is allowed to enter. The police deny all violence. Arun Pannalal, president of the Chhattisgarh Christian Forum: These are attacks linked to a planned conspiracy.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Hundreds of people have been injured at a gathering of Christians preparing to celebrate Christmas. There are even some unconfirmed reports of deaths. The area is isolated, perhaps to not allow witnesses and the police refuse to respond to calls.

The violence took place in the village of Sindhwaram, in Chhattisgarh: from 2 this night until the morning, a crowd of drunk and armed people attacked a tent where groups of Christians who had been celebrating the beginning of the Advent season in preparation for Christmas had gone to sleep the previous day. The gathering was also attended by faithful from other villages around. The village members have sealed off the area and are not allowing anyone to enter or take photos or videos.

Activist Arun Pannalal, president of the Chhattisgarh Christian Forum, managed to get in touch with the Gajral police station only this morning at 6 am. The police denied all violence. The victims are being housed in the police station. Members of the Chhattisgarh Christian Forum say that as soon as they heard of the attack, they immediately phoned the police, but the phone lines were cut off from 2am until this morning.

The Chhattisgarh region is known for a series of violence against Christians and other religious minorities.

For the past two years Arun Pannalal has been appealing to the Chief Minister of the State and the Minister of the Interior, “but my requests - he tells AsiaNews - have not been taken seriously. The entire Bastar region suffers from premeditated attacks targeting Christains. They are attacks related to a planned conspiracy. The government should act immediately ordering an in-depth investigation into this violence. "

Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (Gcic), condemned “the brutal attack against the Christians of Chhattisgarh, which took place today in the darkness of this night, until the first light of day. Vulnerable Christians are continually persecuted in Chhatisgarh. Things are getting worse during the Covid-19 pandemic, so that the faithful are oppressed and crushed. In secular India, they live in fear, fearing for their lives ".

The president of the Gcic recalls that “our sacred Indian constitution guarantees religious freedom [art. 25]. Why are our tribal Christians treated as second-class citizens?”.

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