October 25, 2008
Hiding her head and face behind a scarf, a Roman Catholic nun who accused a Hindu mob of raping and parading her half-naked through the streets in eastern India, appeared on television to appeal for justice. The Indian Express has the full text of her statament:
On August 24, around 4:30pm, hearing the shouting of a large crowd, at the gate of Divyajyoti Pastoral Centre, I ran out through the back door and escaped to the forest along with others. We saw our house going up in flames. Around 8:30 pm we came out of the forest and went to the house of a Hindu gentleman who gave us shelter.
On August 25, around1:30 pm, the mob entered the room where I was staying in that house, one of them slapped me on the face, caught my hair and pulled me out of the house. Two of them were holding my neck to cut off my head with an axe. Others told them to take me out to the road; I saw Fr. Chellan also being taken out and being beaten up. The mob consisting of 40-50 men was armed with lathis, axes, spades, crowbars, iron-rods, sickles etc.They took both of us to the main road. Then they led us to the burnt Janavikas building saying that they were going to throw us into the smouldering fire.
When we reached the Janavikas building, they threw me to the verandah on the way to the dining room which was full of ashes and broken glass pieces. One of them tore my blouse and others my undergarments.
October 10, 2008
35 Christians killed and 50,000 forced from their homes by Hindu mobs enraged at Swami’s murder. Andrew Buncombe in The Independent:
A woman shows her grief at the religious violence in Orissa during a gospel hymn service. AP photo / The Independent
As she recalled her awful story, Puspanjali Panda made no attempt to halt the tears flooding down her face.
Holding her daughter close, she told how a baying Hindu mob dragged her husband – a Christian pastor – from his bed, beat him to death with stones and iron rods and then threw him into a river. She found his corpse two days later, washed up on the bank. When she went to the police, they told her to go away.
Mrs Panda and thousands of others like her are victims of the worst communal violence between Hindus and Christians that India has seen for decades.
September 27, 2008
Anti-Christian riots have rocked several parts of India over the past month. The BBC‘s Soutik Biswas travels to a remote region in the eastern state of Orissa, where it all began, to investigate the complex roots of the conflict.
There is no railroad to this remote landlocked district dominated by tribes people. Here, they and a growing number of Hindu untouchables who have converted to Christianity have lived together for centuries, tiling its fertile land, growing vegetables, turmeric and ginger.
It is also the place which has been rocked by violence between Hindus and Christians over the past month. Events here have triggered off anti-Christian attacks in a number of other states.
Villages have been attacked, people killed, churches and prayer houses desecrated. Radical Hindu groups have accused Christian groups of converting people against their will. Christian groups say these allegations are baseless.
And click here for Reuters Q&A: Why are Christians under attack in India?