For Immediate Release
September 7, 2011
Inaction of police emboldens mob violence in southern India
BANGALORE, India—Two more incidents of violence in the state of Karnataka in southern India reveal the depth of unprovoked violence against Christians—grisly acts of religious intolerance sanctioned and even perpetrated by local authorities.
On Tuesday morning, June 28, 2011, two of Jehovah’s Witnesses were peacefully speaking about the Bible to their neighbor outside his home in the city of Hubli, Karnataka. During the conversation, a group of four men approached the Witnesses, pushed them inside the man’s home, and began beating the Witnesses while screaming obscenities. The attackers contacted others and a mob quickly formed outside. Rather than arrest the mob, the police took the Witnesses to the magistrate’s residence, where they were denied bail. After spending three nights in jail, the Witnesses were released on bail and received medical treatment at the Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences, in Hubli. The examination of one of the Witnesses revealed damage to the hearing in his left ear due to the beatings.
South of Hubli, in the town of Chikmagalur, Karnataka, two of Jehovah’s Witnesses (a father and his minor son), were speaking peacefully with two college students about the Bible on the evening of July 9, 2011, when two men approached the Witnesses and repeatedly struck the father on his head. The two attackers quickly gathered others to form a mob and called the media and the police to the scene. Upon arrival, the police inspector forced the father and son into his vehicle and, instead of taking them to the police station, he drove them to another area where he and the constable verbally and physically assaulted the father for over an hour. At about 8:00 p.m., the father and son were taken to their home, where the police confiscated over 150 pieces of religious literature and threatened the man’s wife and daughter with arrest. Around 9:30 p.m., the father was arrested. The police then took the father to the local government hospital for a medical examination, and then to the judge’s residence. The judge ordered the father to jail. He was released on bail three days later. Since the attack, criminal complaints have been filed against the Witnesses. This is the fifth such incident that has taken place in the state of Karnataka this year.
Jehovah’s Witnesses have filed criminal complaints in each incident.
J.R. Brown, Office of Public Information, tel. +1 718 560 5600
India: Local contact, tel. +91 974 087 1150
Belgium: European Association of Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses, tel. +32 2 782 0015
Britain: European Association of Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses, tel. +44 208 906 2211