Pastors, Christian Leaders and Sisters beaten up by fanatics; arrested by Police, Uttar Pradesh
Around 40 – 50 men armed with hockey sticks and lathis, gate-crashed into the Hotel Conference Room, where a meeting of Christian Leaders was being held and brutally beat the congregation, including women.
On 30th October, Pastor Sam P. Jacob Agra, Uttar Pradesh and other Pastors organized a meeting at Hotel Samovar, Opp. ITC Mughal, Fatehabad Road, Tazganj, Agra, to discuss the up- coming Christmas time programs.
After the initial Prayer, while the meeting was in session, 2 unidentified persons entered the Conference Room and took a few photographs. Thinking nothing of this act, the meeting continued.
All of a sudden, a mob of around 40 – 50 religious fundamentalists, shouting slogans of “Jai Shri Ram”, gate-crashed into the meeting. Armed with hockey sticks, lathis and other weapons, they appeared well prepared to disrupt and physically assault the assembled Christians. They beat everyone indiscriminately, including women, and outraged their modesty, dragging them by their hair.
They also vandalized all the music instruments; Holy Bibles were torn and the attendees mercilessly beaten by the brutish religious mafia.
The most shocking aspect of this entire episode was that, the local Police who allegedly accompanied these fanatics, stood by as mute spectators, while the Pastors, Leaders and the women were being beaten up!!
Mobile phones and gold Chains were forcibly snatched off people’s necks and stolen.
Ironically, the attackers were let off and the victims were arrested by the Police. Pastors Sam P Jacob, Rahul Khare and 10 other Christians, including 3 Sisters, were taken to the Police Station. The emboldened fanatics followed the Christians to the Police Station with total impunity and insolence, forcing the Police to register a FIR against them.
The attack was allegedly led by a Pandit Govind Parashar and Sunny Bandar of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP – an Indian right-wing Hindu nationalist organisation based on the ideology of Hindutva). It is alleged that members of the VHP and the BJP, besides men from “different right-wing groups” were responsible for the attack.
Persecution Relief (PR) was informed about the incident by a Dr. Laji Paul and others . The PR Team spoke with SP Prashant Verma and with SSP Amit Pathak’s office, explaining the circumstances of this ambush attack which was totally against the Constitution of India. Later in the night, the group were released around 11:30 pm.
Speaking to Persecution Relief Pr Rahul Khare mentioned that the criminals grabbed his new mobile phone – Samsung J7 Gold.
The injured pastors were treated at the Agra district hospital, for critical injuries.
Attacks against Christians, especially in Uttar Pradesh, have seen a steep rise. In 2018 Persecution Relief has recorded more than 60 incidents of persecution against Christians in Uttar Pradesh. These attacks are allegedly instigated by false propaganda of certain media houses, and the apparent immunity and conspiracy between the Police and the fundamentalists. The Police are widely blamed for allowing aggression against Christians to grow exponentially, in Uttar Pradesh, while the vigilante groups, uninhibitedly, keep hunting for Christians to carry out their next attack.
Freedom of religion in India is a fundamental right guaranteed by Article 25-28 of the Constitution of India. Every citizen of India has a right to practice and promote their religion peacefully.
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