Three Christians were severely beaten by more than 50 suspected extremists in the state of Chhattisgarh in India.
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On July 17, a large group of suspected extremists assaulted student Umesh Patel, his father Sudhama Patel, and family friend Kiran Vishwakarma. Sources say they were attacked because they were practicing their Christian faith, UCA News relays.
A group of Hindus was questioning Umesh about his faith. After the incident, the three Christians were attacked in Kamarud village, leaving them in critical condition in the hospital. The assailants also trashed their house.
Persecution Relief's head of India operations Tomson Thomas believes the mob attack was part of Hindu extremists' bid to eliminate Christianity from the country. He told UCA that they have been getting reports about Christian villagers from various areas being attacked every day.
Last month, Hindu hardliners beat up 29 Christians from the village of Katholi who refused to renounce their faith and convert to Hinduism. As in the case of the Patels, the attackers also vandalized the homes of their victims, The Express details.
Women and children were among those who were beaten by the extremists. The attack left six people seriously injured, and they had to travel several miles just to get help.
The attack also caused the Christians to flee from their homes and report the incident to the police, who ordered the extremists to stop what they were doing. Authorities asked them to return to their homes, but they were once again forced to leave after they received death threats from their neighbors.
The Indian government has been accused of ignoring the pleas for help from Christians. The Hindu nationalist group Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which leads the current government, has been slammed for allegedly turning a blind eye on the violence against religious minorities.
In response to the said attacks, Human Rights Watch's South Asia Director Meenakshi Ganguly expressed concern over the increasing number of vigilante activities in the country. He then urged the prime minister and the leaders of the BJP to act on the issue and bring the perpetrators to justice.