A Seventh Grade Christian Student Kidnapped and Lynched by Modi’s Hindu Nationalist in Odisa, India
Bhubaneswar, India. June 8, 2020. (Corrected and updated on June 12) The Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations (FIACONA) has come to know that a 14-year-old Christian boy, Samaru Madkami, was murdered by a group of Hindu nationalists affiliated to Prime Minister Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The incident took place in Kenduguda village of Malkangiri district in the state of Odisa, India on the night of June 4th.
According to Pastor Bijay Pusuru from Malkangiri, a few villagers affiliated with the Hindu nationalist party tried to kidnap at least 3 Christians late night on June 4th. Pastor Bijay is the pastor of the Bethel home church where the victim and three other families have been members.
As per the police report, at about 11 PM on the night of June 4th, a few villagers, including Deba Madkami, Budra Muchaki, Aaita Kabasi, Rabu Madi and a few others picked up Samaru from his home telling that someone wanted to meet him in the jungle outside the village.
Then about an hour later they returned to pick up the boy’s father Mr. Unga Madkami. But because he was away, they tried to take Samaru’s uncle, Madkami. Sensing reluctance in him they threatened to kill if he refused to go with them. However, Mr. Madkami managed to help him escape in the cover of darkness.
Dr. Victor Choudary, a local physician told Persecution Relief said the victim’s father Mr. Unga Madkami is a widower. His wife passed away a few years ago. Unga took care of their two children Samaru and another daughter by himself.
Pastor Bijay said that there have been several threats against Christians in the village from Hindu nationalists of Mr. Modi’s political party recently. Constant harassment from them is just a part of everyday life for Christian families in the village.
Pastor Bijay also said that, there have been at least four other physical assaults on Christians in his village this year alone.
In one such incident, members of Hindu nationalist party stuffed 3 Christians in jute bags, tied them up and tried to throw them in the river.
In another incident, they attempted to set two Christians on fire.
Pastor Bijay said he tried to file police complaints against those attackers in the past but nothing happened because the attackers are protected by Mr. Modi’s political party leaders.
The morning after Samaru was taken away, Pastor Bijay was informed by other neighbors that the boy never came back home that night. Suspecting the worst, the Pastor approached the Malkangiri Police Station around 9 am on June 5th to alert them about a possible kidnapping or foul play.
A police team was sent to the village for preliminary inquiry but the police found out that all those suspects who had come to take Unga the night before had gone into hiding.
Then the father of the victim Unga Madkami was asked to file a formal complaint (First Information Report – FIR). A case was registered on June 5th under Indian Penal Code 1860 sections 295-A,367,506,34 for unlawfully outraging the religious feeling of one community, abduction perpetrated by a group of people and missing of a minor.
As per the police report, the victim and his father adopted Christian faith about 3 years ago. Ever since, they have been harassed by villagers loyal to the Hindu nationalist party.
Persecution Relief told FIACONA that, based on the father’s complaint, police deployed a search party immediately. Before the nightfall, the police were able to apprehend a dozen named suspects involved in the kidnapping. During police interrogation, the suspects confessed to kidnapping and killing the boy for deserting the Hindu faith. They said they first crushed his head with a stone and then slit his throat with a knife in a wooded area outside the village the night. They also told the police where the body was buried.
The police are further investigating to find out if the suspects acted on their own encouraged by the anti-Christian rhetoric coming from the Hindu nationalist leaders of Mr. Modi’s BJP party or were they acting as per the direction of local Hindu party leaders.
Meanwhile, the family has asked the local Magistrate for permission to exhume the Samaru’s decapitated body for proper burial.
Persecution Relief has informed FIACONA that a total of four Christian families from the village have been moved to a safer location until it is safer for them to return.
Updates as of June 12, 2020:
The police have exhumed the body of Samaru Madkami after getting the orders from the local magistrate. The acused have told the police where exactly they burried the body.
After the medical postmortem, the body was handed over to the family on June 6. Then the family had burried the body around 9 PM with police protection.
The Christian portal Morningstar News reports:
Sambaru’s village house church pastor, Inga Madkami, said information from police and the autopsy report indicated the assailants broke the young Christian’s legs and hands, put him in a sack and stabbed him with a knife.
“Several knife stabs are visible on his back, we were told,” Pastor Madkami said.
The autopsy indicated the assailants untied the knotted sack, tore open Sambaru’s mouth from both sides and smashed his face with a huge stone, the pastors said.
“His eyes, nose and face were not visible,” said Pastor Pusuru, sobbing. “It was all smashed.”
The autopsy indicated that the killers then struck the back of Sambaru’s head with a stone before slitting his throat, the pastors said.
“They dug a shallow pit and put his dead body there and covered it with mud and leaves,” Pastor Pusuru told Morning Star News.