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Brutal Attack on Pastor in UP; Police Delays Investigation

Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 22:24 (IST)

A pastor in Uttar Pradesh collapsed from the pain of Hindu extremists beating his genitals, and the attackers left him for dead.

On March 19, Pr Rakesh Kumar Masih was dragged out from the house of one of his church members, where some Christians had gathered in Nagla Nishankh village, Firozabad District in UP.

About 12 to 15 people barged in and began to beat the 42-year-old pastor in the broad day light.

"About 30 to 35 men were waiting outside the house, and they started to hit me while saying, 'We will teach you how to be a Christian,'" Masih told Morning Star News.

But "I am blessed to have suffered for His name," he added.

The mob manhandled his wife, Asha Masih, who screamed for help and tried to free her husband.

They said they were taking her husband to the nearby police station. But they dragged him to the marketplace and continuously struck him, Masih said.

"I fell on the ground, and one of the assaulters started to hit me between my legs on my private parts," he said.

"From the excruciating pain and injury, I lost consciousness," he added.

Thinking he was dead, the mob fled.

They also stole his bag with some money in it, about 430 rupees, along with important bank documents, as well as another member's 400 rupees and the member's Bible.

They didn't end there, but one of them put the unconscious Masih on a rickshaw to dump him in a remote place, his wife told MSN adding that she also got into the rickshaw as she would not let them take her husband away.

On the way pastor regained consciousness and prompted his wife to take a photo of the Hindu extremist with them.

"As soon as I handed over my phone to my wife and instructed her, the extremist heard me and jumped out of the rickshaw and fled along with my bag and money, threatening to come back later sometime and kill us," he said.

Asha Masih helped her husband get to Sarojini Naidu District Hospital in Firozabad with only 6 rupees left after being robbed of all their money.

Masih said the doctor on duty refused to treat him, demanding them to bring a police as it was a legal matter.

With the help of church members, he was later admitted to a private hospital, Mittal Nursing Home.

"With my clothes in rags, bleeding from my mouth, lips and nose, I was taken to the hospital," said Masih.

"I was in severe pain all over my body," he added.

A month after the attack, Masih said his genitals were still swollen and paining. But he hadn't stopped leading services at his church, registered as Disciple Mission Sewa Trust (DMST).

"I did not stop conducting church service due to fear or my injuries but conducted the Good Friday and Easter service, and all the church members attended the service," he said.

Police is deliberately delaying to respond to vicious attack on the pastor.

About 20 pastors from Agra, 47 kilometers from Firozabad, and other villages visited the police station on March 20 to file a complaint.

"The police station in-charge assured us of fair investigations and said that the First Information Report would be registered thereafter," Pr Anil B. Lal of Agra, who headed the team, told MSN.

However, on April 13, Station House Officer Pravesh Kumar Singh, told that he was not aware of any such complaint, saying he had just taken charge of the station on April 8.

Upon request, Investigating Officer Kaushal Kishore said he will initiate his initial investigations and then get back.