Rehabilitation Centre shut down by Police, Fanatics, Uttar Pradesh
Fanatics disrupting the inaugural meeting
People use drugs for many reasons: they want to feel good, or they are curious because others are doing it and they want to fit in.
Evg. Johnson James has a unique ministry where he works among adolescent youths from the under privileged communities, in the rural areas of Moradabad District of Uttar Pradesh.
His outreach ministry, educates the youth about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, inhalant and other illicit drug uses and works closely with the youth, seeking for interventions to prevent adolescent drug abuse.
Through counselling and prayer, Evg. Johnson works with drug addicts to help with recovery and relearn how to live without using drugs, helping them stay away from people and places where they get drugs from, helping with other mental health problems and restoring helping them integrate back into the society.
Encouraged by the response of his ministry, Evg. Johnson rented a place to make a Rehabilitation Centre. On the 20th of July 2019, he invited the local Pastor Dharamveer, to pray and bless the rented premises, and the work that was to be undertaken there. Several Christians had gathered for the occasion.
Suddenly a group of religious fanatics, shouting slogans ‘jai sri ram’, barged into the hall with impunity, and disrupted the proceeding with their loud chanting of slogans, hailing their hindu gods.
A Police Team from Civil Lines Police Station also arrived around the same time, alleging that they received a complaint on ‘100’ telephone number.
Speaking to Persecution Relief, Evg. Johnson mentioned that in spite of telling the Police and the fanatics that their only agenda was to provide support and assistance to the underprivileged youths, the Police were quick to allege that they were indulging in conversion activities. Unwilling to listen to the truth or any explanations, the Police were extremely prejudiced and biased in their stance.
They demanded that Evg. Johnson, Atul Agarwal, Babu Das, Babul Masih accompany them to the Police Station. At the Station, they were made to sit the whole night, without any drink or food, and released the following day on bail.
Later, on the 22nd July, they heard through friends that the incident was reported in the local “Amar Ujjala” Newspaper, where facts were misrepresented, giving a communal colour to this incident.
In the first six months of 2019, we have recorded 208incidents of hate crimes, with 39 cases from Uttar Pradeshalone.
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