NEW DELHI (Morning Star News) – Six masked men in central India this month killed one of 22 Christians a Maoist group had warned to “leave the pastorship,” sources said. Pastor Yalam Shankar was slashed and shot to death the evening of March 17 outside his home in Angampalli village, Bijapur District, Chhattisgarh state in front of his wife and daughter-in-law, relatives said. They said he was in his early 50s. The assailants left a note on his body stating that they were Maoists who had killed him for being a “police informer,” but area Christian leaders and police said they doubted that was the motive. While Pastor Shankar was eating dinner on March 17, some men outside his house called out the name of his oldest son, the pastor’s daughter-in-law said. Pastor Shankar went out to speak with them, and his wife and daughter-in-law followed. As he stepped out telling them that his son was not at home, the six men with faces covered with cloths attacked him, said his daughter-in-law, whose name is withheld for security reasons. “As soon as my father-in-law stepped out of the house, they tied his hands at the back,” she said. “Then they hit his face and forced
Anthropologist Filippo Osella Deported After Arriving at Kerala Airport; No Reasons Cited. The UK academic, was to attend a conference in India on Friday.
(Read the story on The Wire) New Delhi: Filippo Osella, a well-known anthropologist and sociologist, who arrived at Thiruvananthapuram international airport from the UK on Thursday, March 24, morning to attend a conference in the city was deported to his home country with authorities specifying no particular reason for the same, Indian Express has reported. Osella, who has carried out extensive research on social and cultural transformations in Kerala over the last 30 years, was touted as the face of the conference to be held on Friday in the city on “emerging themes connected to the livelihood and lifeworld of Kerala coastal communities”. When asked about Osella’s deportation, an immigration officer at the Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRROs) in Thiruvananthapuram airport said the reason for his deportation cannot be revealed. “He was denied entry as per the orders from higher officials. No reason can be revealed,” the officer said. According to Osella, he was told to contact flight assistants when he reached Thiruvananthapuram airport on an Emirates flight on Thursday morning. He was then led to a person who was waiting for him outside. “I was taken to the immigration desks, and processed as it is normally done. But after they scanned my passport, took my
Read it on The Wire here: New Delhi: The Union home ministry on Thursday extended till June 30 the validity of all FCRA registered NGOs whose licences are going to expire at the end of this month and those whose applications are pending for approval. In a notification, the home ministry said the decision has been taken in public interest. According to the home ministry, the validity of the registration certificates of such entities whose validity was extended till March 31 and whose renewal application is pending will stand extended till June 30 or till the date of disposal of renewal application, whichever is earlier. The validity of those FCRA entities whose five years validity period is expiring during April 1 to June 30 and which have applied or apply for renewal before expiry of 5 years validity period will stand extended up to June 30 or till the date of disposal of renewal application, whichever is earlier, it said. The home ministry advised all FCRA registered associations to take note that in case of refusal of the application for renewal of certificate of registration, the validity of the certificate shall be deemed to have expired on the date of refusal of the application of
Haryana Assembly Passes Anti-Conversion Bill Amid Walkout Staged by Indian National Congress party Lawmakers. Haryana now joins 10 other BJP-ruled states.
Read it on The Wire here: Chandigarh: The Haryana Assembly on Tuesday, March 22, passed the Haryana Prevention of Unlawful Conversion of Religious Bill, 2022 amid a walkout staged by Congress legislators who called the law “unconstitutional”. The law attempts to curb religious conversion “through force, undue influence or allurement”. The Bill was introduced in the Assembly on March 4. Haryana now joins 10 other BJP-ruled states, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh where such laws were passed. According to the Haryana Prevention of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Bill, 2022, if conversion is done by allurement, use of force, fraudulent means or coercion, then there is a provision for imprisonment of one to five years and a fine of not less than Rs 1 lakh. The burden of proof lies with the accused. As per the Bill, whoever converts or attempts to convert a minor, a woman or a person belonging to the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than four years, which may extend to 10 years and liable to fine not less than Rs 3 lakh. Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who is the Leader of the Opposition, said
Read it on Christian Science Monitor: Somu Avaradhi has led mass at a local prayer house in India’s southern state of Karnataka every weekend for the past several years. But one Sunday last October, as he parked his car in front of the small building, the pastor noticed something was off. A group of unfamiliar, agitated men had gathered outside. From within the building, he could hear others singing Hindu prayers and chanting “Jai Shri Ram” – a phrase that literally translates to “Victory to Lord Ram,” but has increasingly become a dog whistle for attacks against India’s religious minorities. As soon as he crossed the threshold, a mob of Hindu fundamentalists attacked Mr. Avaradhi with verbal abuse and allegations that he had forced people to convert to Christianity. He and some church members tried retreating to a police station, but a crowd waited there as well. A man whom Mr. Avaradhi denies knowing had filed an official complaint against the pastor for luring him to convert. Mr. Avaradhi was sent to the hospital for injuries sustained in the protest, and arrested soon after. Similar stories have played out across India, where documented attacks against Christians jumped 81% from 2020 to 2021. Mobs