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Hindu nationalists attack a Christian prayer meeting in Chhattisgarh

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New Delhi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A mob of more than a thousand Hindu nationalists attacked a fasting and prayer gathering attended by around 600 Christians.

The attack occurred yesterday in Tarra, a village near Ranjim (Gariaband district) in the Indian State of Chhattisgarh.

The incident is the latest in a series of episodes of violence against India’s Christian community, which has had to endure discrimination on the part of radical Hindutva supporters.

Witnesses report that the radicals attacked dozens of cars, bicycles and private property with damages estimated at 400,000 rupees (US$ 6,200)

The attackers appear to be members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (a Hindu ultra-nationalist paramilitary group) and the Bajrang Dal (the youth wing of the Vishva Hindu Parishad), this according to Shibu Thomas, an activist with Persecution Relief, a watchdog group that monitors and documents attacks on Christians in India.

The “Christians had completed 200 days of prayer under the leadership of Rev Lakhchan Sahu. At around noon, more than a thousand people from the RSS and Bajrang Dal stormed the prayer venue,” Thomas said quoting Rev Sahu.

When the attack started, the 600 people who had gathered dispersed in a panic.

The radicals also molested women and beat up men, Thomas said, and prevented Christians from Marga Parra village from attending the prayer meeting.

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