Andhra Christian leaders demand govt. to ban Hindu Vahini
Hyderabad, 01 Feb 2014: The Andhra Pradesh Federation Of Churches (APFC) has demanded the state government to ban Hindu Vahini, a fringe Hindu right wing group, for its alleged involvement in attacks on pastors and churches in the state. A high-level delegation of APFC met chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy here on 31 Jan and submitted a memorandum in this regard.
“As you are aware, Pastor Rev. Sanjeevulu of Vikarabad in Ranga Reddy district, who was brutally stabbed by four men on the night of January 10, 2014, succumbed to death in Yashoda Hospital in Hyderabad on Jan. 13, 2014. Two of the culprits belonging to the Hindu Vahini group were arrested by the police on Jan. 26, 2014 while others are still absconding,” reads the memorandum.
To consolidate their demand, the Christian body provided the CM with a list of attacks on Christian leaders for which several members of Hindu Vahini have been arrested.
On Jan 20, 2014 Nalgonda police had arrested three activists of Hindu Vahini organisation for attacking Pastor Nama Moses and his wife in December 2013 at Narketpally. In a similar incident, Chandur police arrested two persons for attacking Munugode Pastor Talla Christopher on the same day. In another incident, two persons were arrested by Kanagal police for attacking Ipparthi Church Pastor Gajjala Neeladri Pal. Some of those arrested revealed to the police the conspiracy and systematic plan of the Hindu Vahini for attacking and killing of the pastors all over the state.
“The same Hindu Vahini group had claimed to have killed four pastors in 2004-05 whose members were later arrested in these cases. Now that the general and state elections are around, this group has become active again. The visit of VHP leader Sri Praveen Thogadia to Hyderabad in the first week of January 2014 seemed to have emboldened them. The State of Andhra Pradesh records one of the highest numbers of atrocities on Christian preachers and members,” said Christian leaders and demand the CM to “ensure the ban of Hindu Vahini and other terrorist groups to guarantee the security of Christians and other Minorities so that they can exercise their fundamental rights of religious freedom without fear and obstruction.”
Besides seeking ban on Hindu Vahini, APFC also demanded the govt. to continue the grant-in-aid to the Church-run schools and desist from enacting further legislations on Church properties and Christian educational institutions.
The Christian delegation comprised APFC Presidents Archbishop Thumma Bala and Moderator Bishop D. Dyvasirvadam, APFC Executive Secretary Fr Dr Anthoniraj Thumma, coordinators Fr Maddu Bala and Rev. Kurunadihi.