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IEM’s Evangelist Arrested For Showing Jesus Film

Indian Evangelical Mission Pastor Kunal Pasricha Arrested on False Charges in Chattarpur, Madhya Pradesh.

Global Council of Indian Christians

5/15/07 India (Persecution Update India) – Pastor Kunal Pasricha, belonging to Indian Evangelical Mission, was arrested on charges of attempt to convert forcefully, in Narayanpur village in Madhya Pradesh state’s Chhatarpur district. On May 14th, Pastor Kunal was working in Marayanpur village under the Orcha Police station for quite some time. He said he only preached gospel values to people and nobody received baptism in this village.

The pastor was preparing to screen a Film based on the life of Christ in this village in the evening while a group of around seventy members belonging to different Hindu extremist organizations barged into the venue. They manhandled him and later they dragged him to the Orcha police station.

The police registered an FIR (First Information Report) against him under Section 153 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 4 of the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act. The station officer in charge at Orcha, Shri Rajaram Bansl, said, “He is arrested so that he is not manhandled, we have tried to protect him.”

The victim also confirmed that the police have been kind to him and they also knew that he is not a culprit and it is due to pressure by the extremists in this area.

It is to be noted that the section 4 of the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act 1968 does not allow arresting any person on the accusation of propagating a religion. The section 4 is part of the amendment made in 2006 which is not yet approved by the Governor.

The police produced Pastor Kunal in the Court on 15th May but he was denied bail and is expected to put a re-appeal in the Chattarpur district court later on 16th May by a group advocates from Jabalpur High Court.