Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Telangana: Bajrang Dal mob attacks Dalit Christian church, BJP, BRS, Congress leaders join attack

A Hindu mob associated with Bajrang Dal and included local leaders of Congress, BJP and BRS attacked Dalit Christians during their prayers at a church in Janwada village, Rangareddy district, Telangana on 13 February.

The attackers, shouting ‘Jai Shri Ram’, vandalised the church, destroying the crucifix, chairs, and the roof, resulting in injuries to at least 20 Dalit Christians, including two children.

According to the police, the clash arose from disputes between Dalit Christians and dominant castes over a road-widening project in the village. The Christians alleged that the road construction encroached upon the church’s land, The News Minute reported.

On Wednesday, during the laying of a concrete cement road near Janwada’s main junction, church members objected, insisting that the road remain within the existing width. Tensions escalated when Talasari Maisah, a Congress politician overseeing the road work, allegedly used casteist slurs, leading to a violent attack on the church by around 200 Hindu men chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

The limited police presence proved ineffective in controlling the situation.

The Mokila police registered a First Information Report (FIR) based on a complaint from K Balaiah, the church head injured in the attack.

The FIR charged 29 individuals with offenses, including rioting, criminal trespass, and intentional insult.

Six individuals, including the main accused Talari Maisaiah and Goudicharla Narsimha, were arrested, while others remain at large, as confirmed by the police.

RS Praveen Kumar, leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), joined Dalit Christian protests, raising questions about the delayed arrests, which occurred nearly 18 hours after the incident, TNM reported.

The alleged masterminds behind the attack include Veedulakanti Gopal, a Bajrang Dal leader; Goudicherla Narsimha, husband of former sarpanch Lalitha from the opposition Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS); Mothkupalli Krishna and Mokthupalli Srikanth, leaders of the Yadav community; and BRS leader Srinu from the Kummari community, according to Dalit Christian sources cited by The News Minute.


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