India | 20 July 2021

India: Dalit Christian killed by police officers

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As reported by UCA News on 24 June 2021, a Dalit Christian woman died in custody on 18 June 2021 after allegedly being tortured by police in Telangana State. She had been arrested after a complaint of theft had been made by her employers. According to Asia News reporting on 25 June 2021, the Telangana High Court has ordered an inquiry after accepting a complaint filed by the People's Union for Civil Liberties. Meanwhile, three members of police staff involved in the case have been suspended. World Watch Research analyst Rolf Zeegers points to the following issues in this case: Normally, this incident would have passed without any action from the government because, first of all, the Christian woman was a Dalit. Dalits are at the very bottom of the caste system and are despised by all higher castes. Secondly, the deceased is a woman and women are definitely not equal to men in India. Thirdly, the woman was a Christian and violence against Christians often occurs with impunity in India. And finally, the alleged severe beating was carried out by police officers - i.e. government officials, not a militant Hindu group this time. The fact that the High Court has taken up the case is remarkable and brings with it the hope that such shameful treatment of Christian Dalits will be brought to an end."


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