A Christian teenager who had suffered burns of up to 70 per cent of his body following an acid attack in Gaya, Bihar state, India died in hospital on Sunday 26 September.
The attack and the subsequent death of young church leader Nitish Kumar was confirmed by Barnabas Fund contacts.
The family of Nitish believe that the attack was carried out by extremists in reprisal for Nitish’s refusal to stop holding daily prayer meetings in his home.
Sanjeet, the victim’s elder brother, said that on 11 August, around 6.30 a.m., Nitish had gone to buy vegetables from the local market. “He had hardly gone 750 metres when three men on a motorcycle threw acid on him,” said Sanjeet. “He started burning and rushed back screaming.”
Dr Kamod Narayan Tiwary, owner of the hospital where Nitish was treated, reported, “When I saw the boy, 70 per cent of his body had burns. Both hands, his back, parts of the chest, both thighs and a leg had severe burns that seemed to have been caused by acid or a similar chemical.”
Ranjeev added that threats against the family, which began in July, had increased since the attack.
An Indian church leader told Barnabas Fund that until now Bihar has not been known for anti-Christian violence, adding, “I am worried that this will become a model of attack for others to follow. Christians in smaller communities have become more and more vulnerable to such attacks.”
From Barnabas Fund contacts and other sources