Christian Woman Brutally Murdered in Chhattisgarh: Religious Intolerance Escalates

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London: The village of Toylanka in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district was recently shaken by a horrific incident of religious violence, marking a tragic turn for religious tolerance in the region.Bindu Sodhi, a 46-year-old woman, was brutally murdered on June 24, 2024, reportedly by fanatic Hindu relatives.

The reason behind this gruesome act: Sodhi’s steadfast adherence to Christianity despite warnings and threats from her own community.

Sodhi, who converted to Christianity four years ago, had faced ongoing harassment and intimidation from her Hindu relatives who vehemently opposed her faith. The situation escalated recently when a dispute over land erupted. Sodhi’s family, attempting to plow their fields during the monsoon season, became the target of a violent attack orchestrated by these Hindu relatives. Armed with arrows and axes, the assailants launched a deadly assault, resulting in Sodhi’s tragic death. Her body bore the brutal marks of this merciless attack, yet justice seemed elusive as local authorities had failed to intervene despite previous complaints of harassment.

The incident has sent shockwaves through the Christian community in Chhattisgarh, highlighting a troubling trend of religious intolerance and violence against religious minorities. The Chhattisgarh Christian Forum and other advocacy groups have condemned the murder, emphasizing that such acts undermine the principles of religious freedom and peaceful coexistence.

Arun Pannalal, President of the Chhattisgarh Christian Forum, has raised concerns over the rising hostility towards Christians in the region. He pointed out that incidents like Sodhi’s murder reflect a broader pattern of discrimination and persecution, with numerous cases of church closures and attacks on Christians reported across Chhattisgarh.

A pastor was extra-judicially killed in Chhattisgarh during a public execution by assassins in 2022 (click here) BACA supported the family.

Despite calls for justice and intervention, the response from authorities has been criticized as inadequate and indifferent. The lack of swift action to protect religious minorities and prosecute perpetrators has exacerbated fears within the Christian community, leading many to flee their homes in fear of further violence.

As the community mourns the loss of Bindu Sodhi, there are urgent appeals for authorities to ensure justice is served and to take concrete steps to safeguard religious minorities from targeted violence and discrimination. The tragic death of Bindu Sodhi stands as a stark reminder of the fragility of religious harmony in India and the pressing need for concerted efforts to uphold the right to religious freedom for all citizens.

The British Asian Christian Association is seeking to support Bindu Sodhi’s family by funding a legal representative to pursue justice and ensure her murderers are held accountable. We estimate the cost of a qualified legal advocate to be approximately £1500. Your donation can make a significant difference in achieving justice for Bindu Sodhi. Please consider contributing (here).

Juliet Chowdhry, Trustee for British Asian Christian Associaton, said:

“This incident underscores the tragic consequences of the increasingly far-right policies under the Narendra Modi regime in India. Christians and other minority groups are facing escalating persecution, fueled by Hindutva ideology, with authorities often turning a blind eye to their plight.

“We must vehemently condemn such atrocities and demand accountability from the Indian government.”

Juliet Chowdhry shared  specific actions we can take:

Raise Awareness: Spread awareness about the persecution faced by Christians and other minorities in India through social media, petitions, and public demonstrations.

Advocate for International Scrutiny: Call on international bodies and governments to closely monitor the human rights situation in India and exert pressure on the Indian government to protect religious minorities.

Support NGOs and Advocacy Groups: Donate to and support organizations that provide legal aid, advocacy, and humanitarian assistance to persecuted communities in India.

Engage Diplomatic Channels: Urge your government representatives to raise concerns about religious persecution in India through diplomatic channels and international forums.

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"Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" By Nazir S Bhatti

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