‘Over 300 Attacks Against Christians Till July 2022’: NGO Data Based on Distress Calls (The Wire)

The Union government had told the Supreme Court that the allegations in a petition calling for a probe into attacks against Christians were based on 'falsehoods' and 'self-serving reports.'

Christians attend a protest against the recent killings and atrocities on Christians in Orissa and Karnataka, in New Delhi September 26, 2008. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files

By Sumedha Pal / The Wire

New Delhi: Last week, the Union government told the Supreme Court that a public interest litigation urging action against attacks on Christian was based on “self-serving reports”. Data gathered by a non-governmental organisation based on distress calls it received on a helpline number, however, records over 300 incidents of attacks – verbal, physical and with help of law enforcement – on Christians until July this year.

On August 28, three people were arrested from a small village of Harchandpur in Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareilly over allegations that they had attempted to forcibly converted people.

On the day, the three – Ramvati, Dashrath and Raghuveer – say that activists affiliated to Hindutva organisations thronged their church, ostensibly in protest against ‘conversion attempts’ by the three.

Hindutva groups had also complained to the police alleging the same.

The FIR – accessed by The Wire – charges them under Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 and 5 (1) of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021.

While being handed over to the police, the trio allege, they were attacked and brutally thrashed by Hindutva workers. The three are small farmers and agricultural workers.

They received bail on August 31. Their lawyer Shiv Kumar says that investigation is currently ongoing as to whether they had attempted forced conversions.

“God saved me. We were attacked, my hand was twisted by those who had complained against us while we were being taken into custody. Dashrath and Raghuveer were also brutally thrashed. They said we are converting people, they took away our Bibles,” Ramvati told The Wire.

Ramvati says the three praying when Hindutva workers entered the church and attacked them. “They hurled abuses at us. They said we were looting people,” said Ramvati.

“We are still scared.” she says.

This story was originally published in thewire.in . Read the full story here