Pastor in India Driven from Home after Police Torture, Threats
Officers arrive with news reporter, reviling him and Christianity.
A pastor in northern India was forced to leave his village and flee with his family more than 600 miles away after police last month tortured and threatened him, he said.
Officers in Uttarakhand state on June 13 arrested pastor Sanjay Kumar Bharati, his wife, children and several members of his church in Shyampur, Haridwar District on a complaint of violating COVID-19 restrictions, but as police were beating him their questions and accusations concerned only conversion to Christianity, he said.
Pastor Bharti said officers began beating him as soon as he entered the Shyampur police station. Reviling him and Christianity, they interrogated him as they continued to hit him, he said.
“As soon as I was taken inside the police station, a policeman slapped me three or four times on my face and punched me in my stomach,” Pastor Bharati told Morning Star News. “He hurled curses and accused me of alluring people and converting them.”
They then took him to an inner room, where they made him lie on a bed. One of the officers removed his leather belt and began to strike him on his legs and feet, he said.
“Hell broke open on me as they mercilessly tortured me for 30 to 40 minutes,” he said. “I begged them to spare me; repeatedly I asked them, ‘What was my fault?’”