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Indian Police Arrest Assaulted Christian Couple

Washington, D.C. (December 17, 2009)–International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on December 15, Indian police arrested a pastor and his wife after Hindu extremists assaulted and accused them of “forceful conversion” in Mysore, Karnataka state.

A mob of about 15 extremists allegedly from the Bajrang Dal (Hindu extremist organization) barged into the house

church of

Pastor H. T Manjunath and his wife Saraswati and beat up the couple.

The arrest came after a person identified only as Ashoka filed a police complaint against them alleging that they forcefully converted Hindus to Christianity. Ashoka produced five witnesses to testify against the couple.

Investigating Officer Ravi Kumar told ICC that the Christians were charged with defiling a place of worship with intent to hurt another religion and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings [Section 295 and 295 (A) of the Indian Penal Code]. The police officials have also blocked off the house

church of

Pastor Manjunath.

Pastor Manjunath was sent to K.R Nagar jail and his wife, Saraswati, was sent to

Mysore jail. Saraswati sustained injuries from the beating but was denied medical help.

Area Christian leaders hired a leading lawyer to defend the couple against the false accusations.

ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa and South Asia, Jonathan Racho said, “Arresting a Christian couple on false charges even after they were assaulted is unacceptable and a violation of their basic human rights. We urge Indian officials to release the couple, bring the perpetrators of the attacks to justice, and provide Saraswati with medical assistance.”

Please pray for the release of the Christian couple. Also please call Indian embassy in your countries and politely ask Indian officials to release Pastor Manjunath and his wife Saraswati.

Indian Embassies:

USA
: (202) 939-7000 [Phone] (202) 265-4351 [Fax]

Canada
: (613) 744-3751 [Phone]
hicomind@hciottawa.ca

UK
: 020 7836 8484 [Phone] att.pni@hcilondon.in