By Mahruaii Sailo
Karnataka, India, November 21 (Compass Direct News) – State police on Nov. 13 arrested pastor H.S. Nagaraj of Immanuel Prarthanalaya in Arkalgud, Hassan district, after Hindu extremists from the Bajrang Dal disrupted his congregation’s Sunday worship service. The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) reported that at about 10 a.m. the extremists forcibly stopped the service, verbally abused the Christians for their faith, tore Bibles and called Arkalgud police. Officers arrived and arrested Pastor Nagaraj and Christians identified only as Shivanna, Ravi and Chandrashekar, presumably based on the common Hindu extremist charge of forced conversions. Police took the Christians to the Arkalgud police station for questioning, and after area Christian leaders’ intervention they were released on bail that evening at 11:30 p.m., according to the GCIC.
Karnataka – State police on Nov. 12 detained five Christians, along with a 4-year-old child, in Belur Krishnarajnagar after Hindu extremists from the Hindu extremist Bajrang Dal accused the Christians of forceful conversion and beat two of them. The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) reported the 10 extremists stopped the Christians as they were returning from a prayer meeting. They beat two Christians, Varun Chakravarthy and another identified only as Raju, and then alerted Harehally police station. A sub-inspector of police identified only as Venkatesh and other officers arrived and took all parties to the police station for questioning. Police charged the Christians with deliberate acts intended to insult religious feelings under section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code. After holding them overnight, authorities brought them before a judge the next day. GCIC was able to secure bail for the women, including one identified only as Padmavathy, who was with her 4-year-old child. The two male Christians were sent to Hassan Jail, however, and were released on bail on Nov. 16, reported a GCIC representative.
Andhra Pradesh – A Christian in New Paloncha, Khamman district, was sentenced to three years of prison on Oct. 28 for accidentally pasting a poster over another religious announcement. The All India Christian Council (AICC) reported that Burgula Prasad had organized an evangelistic event for Oct. 3-5 and invited Dr. John Manga Charyulu to speak. While placing posters about the event, they accidentally posted one over another in Indranagar Colony in New Paloncha, AICC reported. Angry area residents started a protest, creating a road block. New Paloncha police summoned Prasad, and he apologized to officers and demonstrators. He was then released, but on Oct. 28 police again summoned him and informed him of a First Information Report filed against him. He was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.
Uttar Pradesh – A mob of about 150 Hindu extremists from the Bajrang Dal stormed into a medical camp organized on Oct. 25 on the outskirts of Agra. The Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) reported that the extremists shouted anti-Christian slogans and accused the medical team of forcefully converting people under the guise of medical treatment. A camp coordinator identified only as the Rev. Kashyap showed the local leaders of the Bajrang Dal a copy of the permission letter for the camp, but one of them, Digvijay Tiwari, demanded a copy for himself, according to EFI. Kashyap refused, and the angry Tiwari left only to return an hour later with a mob that broke the clinic tent, overturned chairs and tables and started manhandling people. Kashyap and others retreated to the roof of an adjacent building, but the extremists captured him and brought him downstairs and made him a hostage of the mob, according to EFI. The extremists accused him of forceful conversion, striking and humiliating him in front of the crowd. Hearing that the extremists were planning to lock the medical team downstairs and burn the room, the volunteers fled, and one called police. EFI reported that the mob took Kashyap to the Shahganj police station, where extremists pressured police to put him in jail. As camp organizers had sought prior permission from the chief medical officer of Agra, however, Kashyap filed a complaint against members of the mob. Copies of the permission had also been duly provided to the district magistrate and the senior superintendent of police. After police registered Kashyap’s complaint, Bajrang Dal leader Tiwari was arrested and incarcerated. He was later released on bail, according to EFI.
Copyright 2011 Compass Direct News