Police in India File False Criminal Charges Against Three Pastors After Brutal Assault
03/23/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – According to Morning Star News, police in India’s Maharashtra state filed false criminal charges against three Christian pastors after they complained about months of police inaction following an assault on a small Christian community. The assault left six Christians injured, including one Christian teen who was beaten unconscious.
On March 1, a mob of Hindu radicals attacked a small Christian community in Bandhan village, located in the Palghar District of Maharashtra. Prior to the attack, radicals had been harassing the small Christian community for months, demanding they stop participating in Christian worship and convert to Hinduism. The extremists even went as far as to cut off the water supply to the Christians in February.
Speaking to Morning Star News, Pastor Pandharinath Bhagya Gowri said, “At least six Christians including women and children got injured in the attack.”
The injured Christians were taken to a hospital in a nearby town where they received treatment and were interviewed by local police officers. Hearing about the attack. Pastor Gowri and two other local pastors rushed to the hospital to help the victims.
According to Pastor Gowri, the police interrupted the victims and narrated their own version of the events while taking statements. “It was totally a false narrative,” Pastor Gowri told Morning Star News. “I informed her, ‘Madam, the constable is trying to divert the matter’, but she shouted at me and asked me to shut my mouth.”
With the other pastors joining Pastor Gowri in confronting the police officers, they went on to complain about months of police inaction. “We told her, ‘Had police booked cases and taken action against villagers who were harassing Christians, this day would not have come,’” Pastor Gowri told Morning Star News. “But this went wrong with her. It must have chafed her ego that ‘illiterate villagers’ were questioning the police.”
Two days later, on March 3, the three pastors who confronted the police were called to the Manora Police Station. There, they were informed that criminal charges had been filed against them for house trespass with intent to cause assault, unlawful assembly, rioting, and criminal intimidation. These charges were leveled against the pastor even though none of them were present at the time of the assault on March 1. The pastors were released on bail after spending a day in custody.
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