Police in India have saved a 3-year-old girl from imminent death at the hands of her own relatives, as they planned to “sacrifice” the toddler after getting the green light from her parents, local media reports.
The chilling incident took place in the Ganakpara village of Udalguri district on Saturday. Police arrived at the scene after they were alerted by villagers who spotted smoke billowing from the house of a local science teacher, identified as Jadab Saharia.
They became even more alarmed when they saw the teacher, along with his male and female family members, taking off their clothes after putting the 3-year-old on an impromptu altar, NDTV reports. The blood-curdling ceremony was to be conducted by a priest, armed with a long sword. The situation escalated quickly when the “priest” began brandishing his sword in an attempt to chop off the toddler’s head as part of the gruesome ritual.
All pleas to the family to stop the bloodshed were in vain, and only angered the priest, who started threatening the villagers who sought to prevent the crime, with an axe and a sword. The family was unperturbed by the arrival of media and police, and the group’s erratic behavior only grew worse, as they started hurling rocks and utensils at police and set fire to their belongings, including a motorcycle, TV set, car, and fridge.
Having exhausted all other options, police were forced to fire several shots in the air to bring the teacher, priest, and co-conspirators to their senses. Eventually, the officers wrestled the child away from the gang and placed the family members and their machete-wielding religious leader under arrest.
The child turned out to be a relative of her tormentors – the daughter of the science teacher’s sister-in-law. The toddler was reportedly handed over to the man voluntarily by her father. The girl was apparently to be killed with her own mother watching.
China destroys dozens of Uighur cemeteries in drive to 'eradicate' cultural history of Muslims
The Telegraph october 9, 2019, 10:02 AM CDT
China is destroying burial grounds where generations of Uighur families have been laid to rest - AFP
Even in death there is no respite for the Uighurs, one of the world's most persecuted minorities, according to a new investigation that has revealed China is destroying burial grounds where generations of families have been interred.
Over the past two years, tombs have been smashed and human bones scattered in dozens of desecrated cemeteries in China’s northwest region, research by Agence France Presse and satellite imagery analysts Earthrise Alliance has revealed.
While the official explanation for the policy is urban development or the “standardisation” of old graves, overseas Uighurs say the destruction is part of the state’s concerted effort to eradicate their ethnic identity and control every aspect of their lives.
"This is all part of China's campaign to effectively eradicate any evidence of who we are, to effectively make us like the Han Chinese," said Salih Hudayar, who said the graveyard where his great-grandparents were buried was demolished.
"That's why they're destroying all of these historical sites, these cemeteries, to disconnect us from our history, from our fathers and our ancestors," he said.
An estimated one million mostly Muslim ethnic minorities have been rounded up into re-education camps in Xinjiang in the name of combatting religious extremism and separatism.
Former detainees interviewed by The Telegraph have recounted horrific torture, being forced to memorise Chinese Communist Party propaganda, and to renounce Islam.
Those who are free are intimidated by suffocating surveillance and restrictions, including bans on beards and veils.
A further Telegraph investigation in Kashgar, Xinjiang, in June found evidence of widespread intimidation of the local population, whether inside mosques or in family homes, including reports that officials were offering “gifts” of pork, a forbidden food for Muslims.
Beijing has long sought to control the resource-rich region of Xinjiang, where decades of government-encouraged migration of the Han – China’s ethnic majority – have fuelled resentment among Uighurs.
Last year, Uighur exile groups reported that the Chinese authorities were setting up “burial management centres” in a bid to exert control over the most private aspects of their lives.
The latest investigation claims that the destruction of existing graveyards has been carried out with little respect for the dead – with AFP journalists discovering human bones discarded at three site and other sites where tombs were reduced to mounds of bricks.
The Xinjiang government did not respond to a request for comment.
The destruction is "not just about religious persecution," said Nurgul Sawut, who has five generations of family buried in Yengisar, southwestern Xinjiang.
"It is much deeper than that," said Ms Sawut, who now lives in Australia and last visited Xinjiang in 2016 to attend her father's funeral.
"If you destroy that cemetery ... you're uprooting whoever's on that land, whoever's connected to that land," she explained.
China has dismissed the escalating global criticism of its treatment of Uighurs, denying there are any human rights issues in the region.
This week, the United States said it would curb visas for officials over the alleged abuses and blacklisted 28 Chinese facial recognition and artificial intelligence technology firms that it accuses of being implicated in the repression of the Muslim minority.
"This kind of behavior seriously violates the basic norms of international relations, interferes in China's internal affairs, and harms China's interests," said Geng Shuang, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman. "The Chinese side strongly deplores and opposes it."
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