Four Christians mocked and tortured by Uttar Pradesh police
Police officials and radical Hindu nationalists disrupted a Christian congregation of 150 and detained four Christians in a police station for over eight hours in Uttar Pradesh’s Dhamayapur village on March 15.
According to Mohit, one of the four detained Christians, a dozen police officers and a mob of over 30 Bajrang Dal activists attacked the regular Sunday worship where around 150 Christians had gathered.
“I saw a crowd advancing towards us. I was so frightened. I was also really worried for my congregation,” Mohit to International Christian Concern (ICC).
The assaulters broke into the worship hall and started to hit the Christians.
“The Bajrang Dal activists told us that we are converting people in the name of casting out evil spirits and spreading a foreign faith,” Mohit said.
The police raided the hall and seized Bible and other religious literature, and took four Christians, including pastor Raja Gowthan, Mohit, Akash and Vihesh, under custody.
According to Mohit, the police tortured the four from twelve in the afternoon until eight at night.
“We were cruelly beaten up with police sticks. They beat us so badly that our fingers got slits and our legs got marks all over. The pain is so bad that I cannot even sit or lay on my back,” Mohit explained.
Furthermore, Mohit explained how the Christians were mocked by the police. “They made Akash pose as if he was nailed to the cross as Jesus in the Bible. They beat him and mocked him saying that Jesus couldn’t save himself from the cross how can you think that he will come and save you.”
The four Christians were falsely charged under IPC Section 151 that states that whoever knowingly joins or continues in any assembly of five or more persons likely to cause a disturbance of the public peace, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.
Around 9 p.m. on the same night, the Christians were released on bail only after they signed an affidavit ensuring that they will no longer gather as a church in Dhamayapur.
Uttar Pradesh is the most populated state in India and has about 350,000 Christians living in it. Radical Hindus often use forced conversions as a common reason to accuse Christian and justify their attacks. With local authorities often siding the perpetrators of violence, the incidents of violence only seem to increase in the state.