13 August 2020
Christians meet near their rebuilt church in Kandhamal. In 2008, almost every church in the area was destroyed by Hindu nationalists.
Two masked Hindu men slit the throat of a 26-year-old Christian mother who refused to hand over her daughter to be raped in Jharkhand’s Regadi village.
The two men, who had previously assaulted Christian minors, attacked the young mother at 1 a.m. on July 20 when she refused their demand.
Pastor Jaymasih Nag of Grace Family Ministry (Anugrah Pariwaar Seva), who has been the spiritual guide for the 26-year-old and her family for six years, told Morning Star News that “The two suspects had raped Devi’s (name changed for security reasons) minor daughter three times in the past besides three other Christian juvenile girls, and all four of the minor girls belong to my church.”
Before the actual attack on July 20, the suspects had called the mother demanding her to surrender her daughter to be sexually abused.
On the night of the attack, Devi saw two men at her window. She stepped out of the house to shoo them away.
“Devi’s daughter followed her mother. Before long, the men attacked Devi and she fell on the ground dead. On seeing her mother fall on the ground, the minor girl quickly ran inside the house and latched the door from inside,” pastor Nag told Morning Star News.
After killing, the suspects dragged Devi’s body and threw it into a river two miles away from her house. The police found the body an hour later and sent it for postmortem.
At the time of attack, Devi was alone with her two sons and two daughters as her husband works in Odisha.
According to pastor Nag, Devi was dealing with the rapists by herself and had not shared about the assailants to her family.
Once an FIR was filed against the two suspects in Khunti police station, they were arrested. They confessed to their crime of raping Devi’s daughter thrice and another Christian girl once.
The two men, however, were arrested for rape and not for killing.