FIACONA | June 8, 2020
|The Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations (FIACONA) has come to know that a 14-year-old Christian boy, Samaru Madkami, was murdered by a group of Hindu nationalists affiliated to Prime Minister Modi’s BJP party. |
The incident took place in Kenduguda village of Malkangiri district in the state of Odisa, India on the night of June 4th.
According to Pastor Bijay Pusuru from Malkangiri, a few villagers affiliated with the Hindu nationalist party tried to kidnap at least 3 Christians late night on June 4th. Pastor Bijay is the pastor of the Bethel home church where the victim and three other families have been members.
As per the police report, at about 11 PM on the night of June 4th, a few villagers, including Deba Madkami, Budra Muchaki, Aaita Kabasi, Rabu Madi and a few others picked up Samaru from his home telling that someone wanted to meet him in the jungle outside the village.
Then about an hour later they returned to pick up the boy’s father Mr. Unga Madkami. Sensing reluctance in him they threatened to kill if he refused to go with them. However, Unga managed to escape in the cover of darkness. He went straight to the police. But without any strong reasons to suspect a foul play, police did not do anything that night.
Dr. Victor Choudary, a local physician told Persecution Relief said the victim’s father Mr. Unga Madkami is a widower. His wife passed away a few years ago. Unga took care of their two children Samaru and another daughter by himself.
Pastor Bijay said that there have been several threats against Christians in the village from Hindu nationalists of Mr. Modi’s political party. Constant harassment from them is just a part of everyday life for a few Christian families in the village. Pastor Bijay also said that, there have been at least four other physical assaults on Christians in his village this year alone.
In one such incident, the Hindu nationalists stuffed 3 Christians in jute bags, tied them up and tried to throw them in the river.
In another incident, they attempted to set two Christians on fire!
Pastor Bijay said he tried to file police complaints against the attackers in the past but nothing happened because the attackers are protected by Mr. Modi’s political party leaders.
The morning after Samaru was taken away, Pastor Bijay was informed by other neighbors that the boy never came back hime that night. Suspecting the worst, the Pastor approached the Malkangiri Police Station around 9 am on June 5th to alert them about a possible kidnapping and foul play.
A police team was sent to the village for preliminary inquiry but the police found out that all those suspects who had come to take Unga had gone into hiding.
Then the father of the victim Unga Madkami was asked to file a formal complaint (First Information Report – FIR) with police. A case was registered on June 5th under Indian Penal Code 1860 sections 295-A,367,506,34 for unlawful outraging the religious feeling of one community, abduction and missing of a minor perpetrated by a group of people.
Persecution Relief told FIACONA that, based on the father’s complaint, police deployed a search party immediately. Before the nightfall, the police were able to apprehend a dozen named suspects involved in the kidnapping. During police interrogation, the suspects confessed to kidnapping and killing the boy for deserting the Hindu faith. They said they first crushed his head with a stone and then slit his throat with a knife in a wooded area outside the village the night. They also told the police where the body was buried.
As per the police report, the victim and his father adopted Christian faith about 3 years ago. Ever since, they have been harassed by villagers loyal to the Hindu nationalist party.
A request has been made to the local Magistrate for permission to exhume the Samaru’s decapitated body.
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