TN: 15 Christians wounded, houses destroyed & conflicting report about the death of a believer
Tamil Nadu, June 25, 2012: The RSS and BJP activists have attacked and wounded 15 Christians and destroyed 4 of their houses on 23-6-12, Saturday night, in a village called Vanagiri Meenavar village in Sirkali Taluq of Nagapattinam District in Tamil Nadu. Two of the wounded are learnt to be quite serious. All of them have been admitted to the Sirkali Government Hospital. In the meantime another Christian one Mahalingam, also lost his life, whose death is claimed by his son Rajendran, to be a murder by the radicals, but disputed by both the police and the radicals as a natural death. Rajendran (40) is one of the two wounded seriously by the Sangha Parivar activists and presently lying in the hospital. The other who was seriously wounded in the attack is Jesuraj (30). It is also learnt that all the four houses were looted first and then destroyed.
The problem started on Thursday 21-6-12 when a large group of BJP and RSS activists visited the predominantly Christian village in which about 30 out of a 40 families are Christians and excommunicated all of them declaring a social boycott against them. They also ordered them not to worship Jesus and conduct their prayer service in the village. A month earlier, we understand, the same people had come and warned them not to attend church services or Christian prayer meetings.
The district administration which was very much seized of the matter, had also called for a peace meet on 23rd June morning. However there was no reconciliation at the meeting. The State Minister, Mr. Jaipal, also visited the village and tried to find out some solution to the communal problem. The minister then asked the radicals not to disturb any of the Christians from worshiping their God. But immediately after the minister left the village, late in the evening, the radicals attacked the Christians with swords and wooden rods and wounded 15 believers, two among them very seriously. Then they began ransacking and looting the houses and destroyed 4 among them completely. The terrified believers rushed out of their homes and most of them also learnt to have fled from the village.
The other Christians who had remained in the village then contacted the Poompuhar Police Station and tried to lodge a complaint with the Inspector in charge, Mr. Subramanian, who, it is believed, refused to register any complaints against the culprits. The Christians then contacted the DSP of Nagapattinam and lodged a complaint with him. Though he accepted their complaint no action was taken against the perpetrators of the crime. On 24th night at about 8 pm, the radicals, as per Rajendran’s version, attacked his father and killed him in his village since he was lying in the hospital away from his house. On learning about the death of Mahalingam in the village all the men folk learnt to have fled from the village leaving the ladies behind. It is also learnt that the radicals supposed to have threatened to kill anyone who came to attend to the dead body.
The village has three churches. Pastor Samuel Ramachandran is in charge of Immanuel Prayer House, and Pastor Simpson looks after the Bethsaida Church, while Pastor John looks after the Bride of Christ Church.