NEW DELHI, INDIA (BosNewsLife)– A tense calm remained Saturday, November 27, in several villages of India’s troubled state of Orissa after Hindu militants reportedly attacked local Christians as police forces watched nearby.
U.S.-based Christian advocacy group International Christian Concern (ICC) said “Hindu radicals” stormed three villages in Orissa and assaulted Christians. “The attackers claimed that they were teased by Christian boys” prompting the November 7 violence, ICC said.
However, the victims reportedly said they were attacked for refusing to pay donations for a Hindu festival called ‘Druga Festival.’
ICC investigators said some 250 radical Hindus stormed the villages of Peliguda, Kenduguda and Telarai near the town of Malkangiri. “They broke into Christian homes after the Christians refused entry. The police were present at the scene but refused to protect the Christians.”
Police officials had no comment, but Indian television channel ETV-2 reportedly aired footage of the incident throughout
The victims have complained to the police at the Malkangiri police station but police have not yet made arrests, ICC said.
Orissa has been a consistent scene of attacks against Christians, according to rights groups. In 2008, an estimated over 100 Christians were killed and more than 55,000 displaced after militant Hindus carried out attacks against Christians.
“We are outraged by these latest attacks against Christians in Orissa,” said ICC’s Regional Manager for South Asia, Jonathan Racho. After the 2008 anti-Christian violence, we hoped that Indian authorities would have taken actions to stem further aggression against Christians. Unfortunately, the Christians continue to face violence as this and other attacks indicate. We urge authorities of India to immediately bring the perpetrators of the attacks to justice and protect Christians from further acts of violence.”
ICC said it has urged its supporters to call Indian embassies in their countries “and politely ask Indian officials to bring the perpetrators of these latest attacks to justice” in the heavily Hindu nation.