Christian Pastor Beaten and Arrested While Following Proper Conversion Procedure in India
ICC Note: A Christian pastor and his lawyer were beaten after being accused of forcefully converting 11 Hindus to Christianity. According to reports, the pastor was visiting the courthouse in Sardhana town in Uttar Pradesh to file 11 affidavits for the 11 individuals who wished to convert to Christianity. Despite following proper procedure, enraged Hindu extremists beat the pastor and handed him over to police for investigation.
06/20/2018 India (Times of India) – Scores of Bajrang Dal activists on Monday attacked and thrashed a Christian pastor inside court premises in Sardhana town alleging that he was about to convert 11 Hindus. Surprisingly, local police booked the injured pastor under section 151 of CRPC (Arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offence) and dispatched him to jail.
Police claimed that the pastor, Dipender Prakash, a resident of Muzaffarnagar’s Khatauli area, had come to the local court with affidavit of 11 people who wanted to convert to Christianity. He wanted to get the affidavits attested by notary. As the local Bajrang Dal activists got a whiff about it, they rushed to the court in hoards and attacked Prakash.
Later, police arrived at the scene and took the pastor and a lawyer, who was assisting him, to police station. However, facing protest from notaries, the policemen let off the lawyer.
But the pastor was booked and sent to jail.
“Around 11 individuals wished to convert to Christianity, and Dipender Prakash had come to Sardhana to get their affidavits notarized when Bajrang Dal activists caught him. He was brought here and we booked him under CRPC section 151 and sent him to jail,” said Dharmender Singh Rathore, station house officer (SHO) of Sardhana police station.
For interviews with William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: email@example.com