Saturday, December 9, 2023

Thousands take to Chhattisgarh streets to protest Hindutva violence

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Thousands of Christians are staging a sit-in protest in front of the district collector’s office in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur to protest against series of anti-Christian violence in Chhattisgarh villages by Hindutva groups.

The men associated with the Hindu militant group RSS have attacked Christians, vandalised their properties and driven them out of their homes, protesters alleged.

The Wire reported that the documents accessed by it records 20 attacks on Sunday, December 18, alone; 21 separate incidents throughout December, barring December 18 violence; 15 in November; and three in the month of October.

50 Christians were beaten up and driven out of their homes in Bastar’s Cherang, the news website reported.

At least 60 Christian families were assaulted by miscreants in the last two months. Around 200 Christian families have been evicted from their houses in 12 to 14 villages and the places of worship were vandalised,” Sukhman Potai, the president of Narayanpur Christian society claimed on Monday.

According to the complaints, Christians were physically attacked in Bhatpal, Modenga, Gohda and Borwand.

“The leaders of the villages incited others to threaten us, abuse us, and physically assault us by destroying and stealing our crops and produce. There were also calls for a social boycott, accusing Christians of occult activities,” read the complaint.

It went on to say: “We have been living in these villages for generations now without any discrimination, peacefully practicing our religion and its rituals. However, there are some leaders who are inciting others to attack us and our community. The name of the Gram Sabhas is being used to attack us within our homes. The women and our children have become targets of lewd comments. Our fundamental rights, our right to live, and our human rights are being taken away from us.”

The Christians have named 26 persons in their complaint, and among them are Rupsai Salam, BJP’s Narayanpur district president; Phuldhar Kachnam, president of Benur; Shyamlal Potai, Gram Bhatpal; Bhojaraj Nag Gram Antagarh; among others, The Wire reported.

The demonstrators said the protest outside the collectorate would continue until the authorities heed to their complaint and lodges an FIR.

Women and children were among protesters who hailed from Bavdi, Malechur, Borpal, Gohda, Chandagaon, Chingnar among other villages, located on the border of Narayanpur and Kondagaon district.

“We have been sitting in the open in front of the collectorate amid winter chill since Sunday evening, but no one paid attention to our grievances. We will not end the demonstration till FIRs are lodged for the incidents of atrocities,” Potai said to PTI news agency.

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