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Murder of a Christian Child Sparks Faithful Mobilization

Murder of a Christian Child Sparks Faithful Mobilization

Sukanto Debnath

Agenzia Fides - published on 12/06/13

The torture and murder of a seven-year-old Christian boy in India by Hindu extremists sparks a mobilization campaign calling for justice and an end to the religious persecution.

Bring to justice the killers of Anugrag Gemethi, a 7-year-old Christian boy, also called Anmol, tortured and killed in a village in Rajasthan (northwestern India). This is what a mobilization campaign launched by different Christian organizations in India, of various denominations ask for. According to the family, the young boy was killed by Hindu extremists.

In a note sent to Fides by the "Catholic Secular Forum," one of the sponsoring associations, states: "It is really shocking that a 7-year-old child was not spared by the Hindutva fundamentalists. What is worse is that the police are not able to identify the killers and bring them to justice."

The campaign, titled "Justice for the Martyr Anmol," aims to sensitize Church leaders and the political and judicial institutions. It calls for severe punishment for the killers, in the name of legality, a stop to the "persecution of Indian Christians," and compensation for the child’s family.

Anugrag Gemethi was tortured and killed in the village of Gamidi, which is located in the district of Dungerpur, in the state of Rajasthan. The child’s body was found in a pond on November 18, after a day of intense searching. His face was mutilated, without eyes, nose and ears, and unrecognizable. There were burn marks on his abdomen, and had deep cuts on his feet, hands and arms. According to the autopsy report, he was drowned and other injuries were caused by "animal bites." Five witnesses at the hospital say, however, that the body had obvious signs of torture, ignored by the doctor.

The boy’s father, Harish Gemethi, explained to the police that "for years, some local Hindu extremists have been threatening to kill me and have damaged my family countless times." The man gave the names of the attackers, asking investigators to inquire about them, but until now his suggestions have been ignored. In the village there is a community of 45 Christian believers, which was established in 2003.

In a letter to the institutions, Protestant Pastor P.S. Jose, diocesan secretary of the "Church of Believers" in Rajasthan, denounces "the serious delay of the police in their investigations," speaking of "severe brutality against Christians" and calling for "justice for a grieving family."

Originally published by Agenzia Fides on 4 December 2013.

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