India – Family Refutes Police Claims in Death of Christian

NEW DELHI, (Compass Direct News) – The family of a 20-year-old Christian found dead last week in the northern state of Rajasthan suspects he was killed by Hindu nationalists, though police claim he died of cardiac arrest. Narayan Lal, a farmer from Hameerpura Patar village in Arnod sub-district of Rajasthan’s Pratapgarh district, was found dead the evening of Aug. 17 near a forest where he had gone to tend his goats. Lal was a volunteer teacher in a 10-day Vacation Bible School organized by indigenous Christian organization Light of the World Service Society (Jagat Jyoti Seva Sansthan) in his village area in May, and a relative who requested anonymity told Compass that some villagers did not approve of the young man spreading Christianity. “It seems his throat was strangulated,” the relative said. “I do not know who did it, but I am sure he was murdered. His family was facing opposition for their Christian work, particularly by some residents of Nadikhera village [near Hameerpura Patar].” A post-mortem report showed no injuries or bruises, and three doctors suggested he died of cardio-respiratory failure, police said. The relative questioned why police did not inform the family of their autopsy report. “We would have taken the body to a private hospital for confirmation,” he said. Though police denied having heard that the family suspected murder, the relative said that Lal’s father told police his son was seemingly killed by some people from Nadikhera village who had been opposing him and his family. Salamgarh Police Inspector Govardhan Ram Chowdhary was unavailable for comment.

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