Seven Hindu Vahini activists held for attacking pastors in Andhra
Hyderabad, 25 Jan 2014: About a week after the murder of Rev. B. Sanjeevulu, a pastor in Ranga Reddy district of Andhra Pradesh, seven members of Hindu Vahini, a fringe Hindutva group, were arrested from different parts of the state. They were arrested in connection with Sanjeevulu’s murder and earlier attacks on some other pastors. Following Sanjeevulu’s murder, Andhra Pradesh Federation of Church (APFC) had approached the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) seeking its intervention to ensure justice to the family of the victim.
According to The Hindu daily, the Nalgonda police arrested three activists of Hindu Vahini on 20 Jan for attacking Sanjeevulu and his wife some days ago. The police presented the accused – Vaddepalli Nagaraju, Manda Ravi and Edunuri Vamsidhar Reddy – before the media. According to the daily, Chandur police also arrested two persons for attacking Munugode Pastor Talla Christopher and two other members of the were arrested by Kanagal police for attacking Ipparthi Church Pastor Gajjala Neeladri Pal.
On 11 Jan 2014 four men had attacked Pastor Sanjeevulu in front of his home at Vikarabad village in Ranga Reddy district, 64 kms from the state capital Hyderabad. . On hearing screams, Sanjeevulu’s wife rushed to him, where upon the attackers tried to kill her as well. Although she was stabbed, she managed to escape and survived. The pastor was admitted to Yashoda hospital in Hyderabad where, despite medical treatment, he died on the afternoon of 13 Jan.
In their complaint to NHRC, Rev. Fr Dr Anthoniraj Thumma and Mr. B. Danam IAS (Retd), Executive Secretaries of APFC urged NHRC to make intervention in the case of murder of Pastor B. Sanjeevulu to ensure compensation and protection to his family and security to Christian minority in the state of Andhra Pradesh.