New Delhi: A survey conducted by the United Christian Forum (UCF) has concluded that the violence against Christians in India peaked in the year 2022. The survey has also revealed most cases of this violence were reported in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

According to the findings released on November 26, until November 21 this year, there were about 511 cases of violence that were reported against the Christians in the country. The numbers are slightly more than the 505 cases of violence against the community that were reported in 2021.

The report is based on the information collected by the UCF helpline, a toll-free number that was launched in January 2015 to help victims get access to legal remedies. The report has also compiled incidents that include disruption of prayers, attacks on Christians, pastors, and their kin as well as vandalization of churches.

A closer look into the findings of the UCF in the last five years shows that cases of violence against Christians are on the rise. While the number of cases in 2018 were plugged at 292, it went up to 328 in 2019. In 2020 the numbers saw a slight dip as 279 cases were reported during the COVID-imposed lockdown, the number nearly doubled up in 2021 when the country reported 505 cases followed by 511 in 2022 with one month to spare.

September reported the highest number of instances of violence against Christians this year (64). May also recorded 61 such cases.

Among the states with highest number of cases was Uttar Pradesh, with 149 cases this year followed by Chhattisgarh with 115 incidents, and Jharkhand with 48. Among the states that recorded the lowest number of such instances was Jammy Kashmir where only one case of violence against Christians was reported. Chandigarh had only one case in five years, the incident being recorded in 2019.

Among the Northeastern states, Meghalaya and Tripura had one incident each of such violence, while Assam had two.

The survey on South Indian states showed Karnataka and Tamil Nadu recording 30 incidents of violence against Christians each. In contrast, Kerala and Puducherry had no cases of attack on Christians.

This year, Andhra Pradesh had six cases, and Telangana had four. The survey showed that except in 2019, when it recorded 19 such cases, Andhra Pradesh recorded single-digit incidents in the five-year span. There were five attacks on Christians in Andhra Pradesh in 2018, eight in 2020, and six in 2022.

Telangana witnessed a fall in attack cases, from 19 in 2018 and 18 in 2019 to six, three, and four in 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively, as per the UCF survey.

Tamil Nadu recorded 227 such cases between 2014 and 2022, with the Kongu region reporting 117 cases, which is nearly half the number of incidents of attacks on Christians. Also, while there were 48 attacks in 2018, the highest number recorded was in 2019, at 56. There were 17 and 21 cases in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

There were only three incidents of violence against Christians in Kerala in the last five years – one in 2018, and two in 2019.

Karnataka witnessed a decline in violence against Christians this year, with 30, as compared to 2021, when the state had 62 cases, which is also the highest in the South Indian states. In five years, the state had eight cases in 2018, 27 in 2019, and 16 in 2020, respectively.

Cases of such violence rose greatly in Karnataka during Christmas in 2021. A group of Hindutva vigilantes forced themselves into a Dalit household in Tumakuru to stop them from celebrating the festival. The next day, another group attacked a Dalit family in the Tukkanatti village of Belagavi, after accusing them of converting their neighbors to Christianity.

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Agra: In a shocking incident, a 6-year-old girl was allegedly killed by her neighbour for buying a packet of chips in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh. The police on Tuesday night recovered the body at the residence of the accused, which was kept in a sack for disposal, reports Times Of India.

According to police, the girl went missing on Tuesday morning from her Aligarh colony. Her family later in the evening filed a missing report at Nagar Kotwali police station. With the help of CCTV camera footage that led them to her neighbour's house, the police found her body. The accused was arrested and his two brothers were detained.

"During probe, one of the accused confessed to the crime. He said he had sent the girl to buy paan masala for Rs 20, but she returned with a packet of chips. When he scolded her, she misbehaved with him and he killed her. We're awaiting the autopsy report to take further action," SP (city) Mrigank Shekhar Pathak said.