Raipur: Christian pastor thrashed in Police Station

Pastor accused of religious conversion, was assaulted by a mob while in police custody


Dharm badal ne waalon ko… joota maro s**lon go… jai jai sree Ram,” chanted an angry mob as they walked into a police station in Raipur, Chattisgarh, as the policeman on duty looked on. Soon this mob proceeded to attack a Christian pastor or priest who had been called to the police station. According to news reports, the police have filed cases against seven persons for the assault on the pastor who was in the police station as he had been accused of “forcible religious conversion”. 

However, the priest was beaten up allegedly by a right-wing mob, right under the nose of the police! Videos of the  sudden attack that was launched on the man reportedly after arguments between the right wing group, and the people who had accompanied the pastor to the police station, have gone viral on social media.


Another video shows an even larger mob outside what is said to be a church in the Purani Basti station area, all chanting right wing slogans in unison. 

According to a news report, the man was attacked inside the Purani Basti police station in Raipur. He had been asked to come to the police station after the police received complaints of” forced religious conversions being carried out in the Bhatagaon area”, stated news reports. Soon, a group banding under a ‘right-wing Hindutva’ ideology also reached the police station. Arguments ensued and the mob demanded “action” against the priest and reportedly “gheraoed the building”.

The pastor was taken into the station in-charge’s room where the tense situation only worsened, stated media reports. The pastor was abused, assaulted and also hit with slippers and shoes, as the video shows. 

Additional Superintendent of Police (City) Tarakeswar Patel told mediapersons that they “hadn’t received any complaints earlier. There was no damage done to the police station during the quarrel between the two groups. We are now looking into the complaint (of conversions). Based on what we find, we will take action.” A case against seven persons was filed in relation to the the assault and a First Information Report (FIR) registered on Sunday, September 5,

Pastor Harish Sahu, who was accused of carrying out forced religious conversions in the Bhatagaon area, arrived at the police station accompanied by Chhattisgarh Christian Forum general secretary Ankush Bariyekar, stated news reports. Apart from Sahu, the mob also allegedly assaulted Bariyekar, as well as one Prakash Masih, who had accompanied him.  According to media reports Purani Basti SHO Yadumani Sidar has now been sent to the police lines. The FIR, reportedly against several people, has charged them under sections 147 (rioting), 294 (obscene acts and songs), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Sections 86 (offence under intoxication), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), and 452 (house trespass).

Attacks on Christians in the state, particularly those who belong to independent churches have been on the rise. United Christan Forum’s (UCF) toll-free helpline number has recorded 22 incidents of violence against Christians in the past six months from Chhattisgarh itself, as well as Jharkhand, and 19 from Uttar Pradesh. Here most of the callers said they were attacked and accused of ‘conversion’ even though they were only holding prayer meetings, often in their own ‘house church’ a room or a shed earmarked for prayers. 

In August, a group of over 100 people allegedly beat up a 25-year-old pastor after barging into his house at a remote village in Chhattisgarh’s Kabirdham district. Here too the mobs raised slogans against religious conversion, stated media reports. The mob also vandalised the place and manhandled the pastor’s family members before fleeing from the spot, local police told the media. The attack took place at 11 A.M, when “a prayer was underway at the house of pastor Kawalsingh Paraste,” India Today quoted Kabirdham Superintendent of Police Mohit Garg as saying. He added, “As per the preliminary information, a crowd of over 100 people stormed into his house and allegedly damaged articles of worship and household items, and tore scriptures.” 

The state’s CM Bhupesh Baghel is yet to make any comments on the attacks on Christians in his state. However, he has been quick to respond after an uproar broe out against his father NandKumar Baghel’s alleged remarks on ‘Brahminvaad’. The CM told the media, “No one is above the law, even if that person is my 86-year-old father. The Chhattisgarh government respects every religion, section, community and their feelings,” adding that “comment against a particular community by my father has disturbed the communal peace. I am also saddened by his statement.”


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