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
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.