Bhopal, India, Feb 27, 2019 / 14:17 pm
Violent attacks including public lynchings against Christians in India are reportedly becoming increasingly common, with international NGOs and the country’s Catholic bishops raising their voices in protest against mob violence.
“The common man of the country is feeling insecurity in his own country due to the increasing cases of mob lynching,” Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal wrote Feb. 27.
“In the past, the Supreme Court has taken cognizance of this problem. It is felt that...all the political parties and religious leaders should [be] united by making their opinions and spreading awareness about the ill practice surfacing in our society, in order to create a decent society and to [attain] a peace-loving society.”
Cornelio said numerous mob lynchings have occured in which the victims are accused of eating beef or otherwise harming cattle, which are considered sacred in the Hindu religion.
An article on the Indian website Scroll has documented incidents in which “cow protection vigilantes” have assaulted men they accused of either killings cows or transporting cattle to be slaughtered. A large number of Indian states have made slaughtering cattle illegal, the article says.
“Moreover, these would then not be treated as ordinary crimes. The vigilantes would often be supported, sometimes explicitly, by political parties and governments,” according to Scroll.
Cornelio condemned what he called “mob psychology” as contrary to Indian law and to the rule of law in general.
“Any civilized person will never hesitate to say that killing or violence by the mob is unfair and [a criminal act], because the crowd never gives an opportunity to examine, understand or tell the accused their side,” he said.