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Authorities arrest three Christians in Uttar Pradesh, refuse to grant bail

Thursday, November 28, 2019, 1:44 (IST)

Uttar Pradesh police arrested three evangelical Christians from Daraura village on charges of forced conversions and contempt for other religion on November 27.

Complaint against the three Christians Kapildev Ram, Ajay Kumar and Omprakash was filed by Prakash Pasi, the village head. However, according to the district police superintendent, Pasi denies that he ever filed a complaint.

In the complaint submitted, it was recorded that prayers and gatherings were held in Ram's house every Tuesday. One of the claimants who attended the gathering, reported that the Christians were mentally exploiting the villagers.

The three Christians were not granted bail.

Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), condemned the arrest and said Uttar Pradesh has become the hotbed of hostilities against Christians.

"Local police arrest minority members on the basis of manufactured conversion complaints. In particular, Dalits are under constant supervision by right-wing groups that intentionally interpret any activity as 'attractive and fraudulent' conversion attempts. At the same time, elements [that support the ideology] of the Hindutva enter the sacred spaces of the houses, where Christians are gathered in prayer, abuse the people present verbally and physically, interrupt the prayer services and build false accusations and manufactured," George said.

Furthermore, he said, India is a "secular country that guarantees the constitutional right to religious freedom. Members of the Christian minority are not safe even in their own homes. Their lives and properties are in danger."

Condemning the collaboration between police authorities and Hindu radicals, the Christian leader said, "The day before the arrest of the three Christians - he reports - some elements of the extreme right wing visited the village and asked the chief where the place where Christians gather in prayer was located. They then informed the police, who later arrested the people."