Press Statements

Andhra Federation of Churches interacts with Human Rights Commission

On April 24, 2015, the A.P. Federation of Churches (APFC) interacted with National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) during their Session with NGOs at the NHRC Camp Sitting in Hyderabad. APFC took up the NHRC Case No. 157/1/18/2014 dated 10 Feb 2014 filed by APFC on murder of Pastor Rev. Sanjeevulu at Vikarabad of Ranga Reddy Dt and other killings of Pastors, and on the atrocities on Christians in the twin States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The NHRC issued its second notice dated 15 Feb 2015 to Chief Secretary of Govt. of Andhra Pradesh as well as to the Chief Secretary of Govt. of Telangana requiring them to submit a report regarding the action taken within six weeks.

Fr Anthoniraj Thumma, the Executive Secretary of APFC, accompanied by Fr Maddu Balaswamy, the Regional Secretary of TCBC Commission for Peace and Justice, brought to the notice of the full bench of the Commission that there have been about 10 killings of Pastors in the last 10 years most of whom are Dalits. He emphasized that a group called Hindu Vahini had claimed credit for some of these murders in the past, and its involvement has been again established in the killing of Pastor Sajeevulu and attempt to murder of Pastor Nama Moses in Nalgonda Dt.

The representation presented by APFC pointed out that recently the Additional Sessions Court of Kamareddy dismissed the case on the murder of Rev. Fr Thomas Pandippally CMI at Yellareddy of Nizamabad Dt. that took place on August 16, 2008, due to the failure to establish the circumstances. This has happened despite APFC insisting on the communal angle to the killing and had submitted several representations on it to former Chief Ministers and Home Ministers. Hence, APFC expressed the fear that the other cases might also go the same way, which would only embolden the Hindu Vahini and other perpetrators to continue their atrocities on Christians and Pastors. APFC reported that the serious of attacks on them continued as evident from the 2 communal attacks that took place last week in Mahabubnagar Dt of Telangana.  

APFC reiterated to the NHRC its demands to pursue Case No: 157/1/18/2014 with Government of Telangana, and ensure that compensation of Rs 5,00,000/- and other promises made to family of late Rev. Sanjeevulu are fulfilled by the Government. APFC asked the NHRC to get Hindu Vahini banned and to make sure its members involved in this and other murders of Pastors, and in the atrocities on Christians and other Minorities do not go scot free.

In their response, NHRC Chairperson Justice K.G. Balakrishan and Member Justice Cyriac Joseph assured the APFC delegation that they would follow up the case with the Government and remind them about the compensation that was promised by the Chief Minister. They counseled that the pending cases must be pursued in the Courts. While carrying out their advice, the APFC will continue its endeavor to get the Hindi Vahini banned in collaboration with other Minorities who have been fighting for the same.

Rev. Fr Dr Anthoniraj Thumma,
Executive Secretaries of A.P. Federation of Churches (APFC)

Andhra Pradesh Federation of Churches (APFC)
a unit of  Federation of Telugu Churches (FTC)
(State Level Body of Bishops / Church Heads – Regd No. 89 of 2008)
TCBC Center, 2/3 Sikh Village, Secunderabad - 500 009
Cell:09849965958 Fax:040-27891976

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