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8403In Thane, Christian tribals victimised

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  • SOCM News Bureau
    Jul 1, 2006
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      In Thane, Christian tribals victimised

      Had filed case about assault by Hindus, say police turned on them

      Express News Service

      Mumbai, June 20: ''ASK Jesus to call me on my mobile phone,'' was the
      answer 20-year-old Kalpana Chaudhry allegedly got from a policeman
      when she and three other tribal Christians asked about progress on a
      complaint they had filed.

      ''Just because we had dared to approach the police after an attack on
      us by Hindu men,'' she says.

      Along with her husband Sunil (24), Baburao Mahala (32) and Anil
      (23), Kalpana met Director General of Police Dr P S Pasricha on

      ''We were asked to demonstrate how we pray,'' said Sunil. ''When we
      knelt down, policemen at the Kasa police station abused us, kicked us
      and mocked our faith.''

      Kasa, about 200 km north of Mumbai, near Dahanu, is a largely tribal
      pocket in Thane district.

      Mostly tillers, about 45 Christian families of Toranpada village are
      in constant fear of being evicted from their homes, they said. ''We
      are constantly abused by the Hindus,'' added Mahala.

      Following an attack on June 8, they registered a police complaint. It
      was on June 15, when they returned to the police station to check on
      its progress, that the policemen turned on them instead, they allege.

      ''The police have, instead of assuring justice, booked the victims
      for so-called breach of peace and initiated Chapter proceedings
      against them under Sections 107 and 110 of the Criminal Procedure
      Code,'' said All India Christian Council General Secretary Dr Abraham
      Mathai, who accompanied the tribals to Mantralaya on Tuesday.

      ''This only intimidates the poor tribals, who will fear to report
      future attacks.''

      Superintendent of Police (Thane Rural) Archana Tyagi said she knew of
      the case. ''I have already deputed an officer to conduct an
      inquiry,'' she added.
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