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Missionaries arrested and beaten by Hindu radicals in Orissa State , India

By James Varghese

7/5/08 Orissa , India (ANS) — Orissa Police arrested Christian missionaries as they were distributing gospel tracts in a VIP Rental Colony area of Unit-8, Bhubaneswar , Orissa, on Wednesday, July 2.

According to news carried by www.persecution.in, Orissa police arrested Pastor Subhanath Digal (34) and Pastor Prabir Kumar Singh (30) of an organization named Mission India following the incident and arrested 5 more pastors who came for the aid of the above said pastors later after incident.

The site reported that the two Mission India pastors unknowingly distributed tracts to 12 youths who belonged to Hindu Radical group named Bajrang Dal (Monkey Brigade) activists sitting at the colony square. These extremists instantaneously reacted, opposed, manhandled, detained the pastors, called the police and enlisted the help of additional of Sangh Parivar activists (also known as World Hindu Council, a Hindu radical group)

According to the news source, before the Sangh Parivar cadre could arrive, other Pastors of Mission India reached the spot.

They are:

1.Rev. Ullas Kumar Pani (42)

2.Pastor Madhusudan Das (43)

3.Pastor Parimohan Surjya (24)

4.Pastor Surendra Digal (25)

5.Pastor Paul Janardana Bagh(25)

The site reported that, the extremists refused to release Pastor Subhanatha Digal and Pastor Prabir K. Singh moreover, the extremists manhandled and slapped the pastors, abused them with using vulgar language. These servants of God remained silent and tolerated all their odd behaviors and beating.

A Police van arrived there after some time and on their complaint, arrested these 7 missionaries together and put them in Nayapally Police station, IRC village of Bhubaneswar .

The site said that the Bajrangis (members of Bajrang Dal) demanded after the arrest of the missionaries:

1. As these Christians were converting Hindus to Christianity, they should be arrested and forwarded to the court and ultimately sent to jail.

2. All print and TV media should widely cover these illegal Christian converters

3. They should be granted with no mercy at any cost.

4. In case of any favoritism shown to them, will lead to State wise protest by the Sangh Parivar immediately.

5. They will guard out side the Police Station to see they are not released from there, other wise they will punish them in their own hand, as they declared.

The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) has sent legal aid to the Pastors at the police Station.

According to the news source, GCIC has sought before the Police to give necessary protection to all these victims till they reach home and continue for few days and has arranged food for these Pastors while they are in the police custody

According to the website, GCIC is seeking an amicable settlement and compromise so that there shall not be any case, no chance of forwarding them to the Court and Jail etc. But it was reported that these Pastors were all released the same night.