11/20/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – According to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), some 100 displaced Christians have returned to their home villages two months after they were attacked by a mob of radical Hindu nationalists. The Christians returned to the villages after a court ordered local government officials to provide protection.
On September 22 and 23, Christians from three villages in the Kondagaon district of India’s Chhattisgarh state were attacked by a mob of nationalists after they refused to recant their Christian faith. The nationalists physically assaulted the Christians in the presence of police and destroyed 16 houses across the three villages.
Approximately 100 Christians were displaced as a result of the violence. Several of the victims filed a Public Interest Litigation suit and the High Court of Bilaspur ordered the Kondagaon district administration to facilitate their safe return.
“We have returned to our villages as the court has ordered our protection,” Shiv Ram, one of the petitioners, told UCAN. “But we don’t feel safe and are still worried about our lives.”
Many Christians still remember how the police stood by and watched as they were attacked in September. Others claim the measure ordered by the district administration will do little to protect them if violence breaks out again.
Following the court order, the district administration set up a single police check point and posted 12 police officers to insure the safety of the displaced Christians. However, this check point is not located in any of the villages where the violence took placed and nothing has been done to restore the Christians’ confidence in the police.
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