India: Christian Father Charged after Hindus Attack Daughter

July 28, 2021 has documented numerous incidents in which Hindu extremist mobs in India target Christians, and police are more sympathetic to the attackers than to the victims. This is because Christianity is widely regarded as a foreign faith in India, despite the fact that its presence there goes back to apostolic times.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in India, see here.

“Christian Father Charged after Hindus Attack Daughter in India,” Morning Star News, July 16, 2021:

HYDERABAD, India (Morning Star News) – Hard-line Hindus in northern India who attacked a young Christian woman have filed fabricated charges against her father – basing their case on testimony from a Christian relative apparently pressured into giving a false statement, sources said.

The father, Shriram Gautam, was charged with outraging the modesty of a woman and other baseless accusations after he rushed out of his house on May 24 to rescue his daughter from hard-line Hindus in Mansura village, Kanpur District, Uttar Pradesh state. The drunken Hindus had attacked 23-year-old Anamika Gautam with lathis (bamboo clubs bound with iron) and steel rods, vowing to publicly humiliate and beat her and her father to death, she said.

“They told me that I belong to a family which carries out forced conversions, and that they do not have any respect for such people,” said Anamika Gautam, who had been studying on the front porch of her house when the hard-line Hindus showed up and began taunting her. “They spewed venomous curses as they continued to beat me and attempted to touch inappropriately.”

She told them to leave her alone, and they began beating her, she said. Her father and younger brother heard her screams and came out of the house running, telling the Hindus to cool down and return to their homes, she said.

“But they were adamant that we must be butchered to death for converting people in the locality to Christianity,” Anamika Gautam told Morning Star News. “We told them that nobody accepts Christian faith because of us, that it is the Lord who calls people to Him; it is not our human effort. But they would not understand a word.”

The four suspects identified in the First Information Report filed by Akbarpur police as Aditya, Gajendra, Adarsh, and Subash are known in the area for mischief and sexual harassment, she said. Soon parents of two of the assailants, also with lathis and steel rods, joined them, Anamika Gautam said.

“They were only four at first when they started uttering obscenities, but two of them went and called their parents. Their fathers also charged towards us with lathis and rods,” she said.

Anamika Gautam said that Ajay Pal and a man identified only as Ramesh, fathers of two of the assailants, began beating her father and brother, and that three onlookers came to their aid but were also beaten.

She said she began videorecording the assault on her mobile phone, but the assailants seized it from her.

“They kicked and punched me, touched inappropriately and tore my clothes,” Gautam told Morning Star News.

She and her injured father went to the Akbarpur police station the next day, but officials refused to listen to them or take action against the assailants, she said. There the Christian family learned that Pal’s wife, Sona, who had attended their home worship and said she had become a Christian, was apparently pressured into joining her Hindu relatives in filing a complaint of forcible conversion against her family, Gautam said.

“In the complaint filed against us, she accused my family and church members of forced conversions by threats and inducement,” Gautam said. “Further, she falsely alleged that my father and brother and the neighbors who rescued us from the beating entered the house and attempted to abuse her, and that her clothes were also torn by them.”

In the complaint, Sona alleges that the attack took place while her husband and children were at work in fields far from her home, Gautam said.

“If the attack really took place when they were away at work, how can they arrive hearing her screams and be regarded as eyewitnesses?” she said. “It was shocking to see that a person who was joining us in prayers until the day of the attack came under pressure from her husband and son and falsely testified against us.”

Based on the false statement, Akbarpur police charged Shriram Gautam, son Saurabh Gautam and neighbors who came to their rescue under sections of the Indian Penal Code for house-trespass with preparation for assault (Section 452), outraging the modesty of a woman (Section 354), breach of peace (Section 504), criminal intimidation (Section 506) and acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intentions (Section 34)….