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AP: Pastor Brutally Slashed by Hindu Extremist; Assailant Confesses Hatred Towards Christianity
Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 16:22 (IST)
A Hindu extremist has admitted to attempting to murder a pastor in Andhra Pradesh as the pastor was praying at night, according to police.
On March 29, while Pr Madira Koti Reddy, 55, head of a house church in Rentachintala village, Guntur District, was studying Bible and praying at about 10 p.m. after eating dinner with his family, the assailant silently entered the house and went to the pastor's room, where he slit his arms and head with an axe, pastor's wife Madira Shanti told Morning Star News.
"I heard my husband screaming and ran into the house," said Shanti, adding that the attacker escaped even before she could see his face clearly.
Police Inspector Koteswara Rao was patrolling the area rushed to Reddy's house, where he found him bleeding profusely.
"I immediately took him to the government hospital nearby, but given the severity of his condition, shifted him to a private hospital in the neighboring town," said Rao.
Police arrested 11 suspects and interrogated them.
Key eyewitnesses said that one suspect, Manne Shiva Narayana, aka Shivayya, was seen lurking outside the Reddy's house with an axe that night.
Police searched Narayana's house and seized the axe, Rao said.
"He is a staunch devotee of Shiva," the inspector said.
He confessed that it was 'hate' that drove him to attack the pastor.
"He confessed that he wanted to 'finish' the pastor that night. He said he was offended by the pastor's routine of sharing the gospel in the village," said Rao.
Narayana has deep-seated hatred toward Christianity, he added.
He is a self-proclaimed Shaiva Sadhu, a Hindu "holy person" identified by saffron dress like that of Hindu ascetics known as Aghori, the residents of that area said adding that he is 34 and single.
It was a close call for the pastor.
"If he had been brought in 30 minutes later, we would not have been able to save him," said Dr Sudheer Bhargava Reddy.
At least twelve units of blood were immediately transfused into his body, he added.
"The loss of blood was excessive," he said.
"We first attended to the cuts, and there was urgent need for blood transfusion. He is responding well to the treatment, and as the blood clots clear up, we are operating on him," he added.
On April 6, pastor's right arm was successfully operated. This week, his left arm will be fixed with plates and screws, Bhargava Reddy told MSN.
"It would take at least 45 days for the patient to move his hand, and in order to be able to use his hand very well, he needs to rest for at least 75 days," he said.
According to the doctor, CAT scan shows no major damage to the Reddy's head.
The pastor's wife said God allowed him to survive.
"God did not let the blows be very hard and heavy," she said.
"God lifted him up and held him in His hands safe. This attack is only to bring glory to God," she added.
Their children were deeply disturbed to see their father's condition at the hospital, Shanti said.
"I am trying to be strong for them," she added.
She requested prayer for healing for her husband and strength for their family.