Christian Teenager Arrested for Alleged Anti-Hindu Comments on Facebook

Published 18 October 2017  |  
File photo of Christians protesting attacks on their brethren

An 18-year-old Christian Uttar Pradesh was jailed for 12 days after anti-Hindu comments appeared on a fake Facebook account in his name.

Sandeep Kumar christened Karan Anthony, was released on bail 12 days after being arrested on Aug. 23 and charged for posting anti-Hindu comments on Facebook. He was arrested when members of the Hindu extremist Rudra Sena in Kasganj District filed a complaint with police.

Police registered a First Information Report (FIR) charging Anthony with "promoting enmity between classes" (section 153A of the Indian Penal Code), punishable by three years of prison and/or a fine, and "publishing or transmitting obscene material" (Section 67 of the Information Technology Act), punishable by imprisonment of up to three years and/or a fine of 500,000 rupees.

He was also slapped with charges of accessing a computer without the permission of the owner and doing so dishonestly or fraudulently (Section 66 of the Information Technology Act), punishable by up to three years and/or a fine of up to 500,000 rupees.

Anthony, a student of agricultural sciences from the University of Allahabad, addressed the media.

"I did not make any posts on Facebook," he said, according to Gospel Herald.

"It was my good friend who falsely framed me by joining hands with Rudra Sena activists," he added.

He said he has not used Facebook in months.

"Whenever I posted something about Jesus, my friend Sathin and other classmates started sending abusive comments," he said.

"They were expressing hatred in vulgar language, and I did not like it. I deactivated Facebook immediately and never logged in after that incident," he added.

Anthony's father, Pr Shriniwas Gautam, said the chief complainant, Sathin Gaur, was a former classmate and friend of his son.

"Karan Anthony for them is a Christian boy from lower castes, and now that he secured admission in an esteemed university, they are not happy with it," said Gautam.

Anthony shared his painful experience in the jail.

"I knelt down and prayed a day after I was presented before the court," he said.

"When I was in jail, every day I was spending time in prayer; the other prisoners did not understand what was going on, they asked me many questions like, 'What is this you are doing, why are you knelt, what are you murmuring?' It was an opportunity the Lord had given me to share the gospel with them."

The other inmates were eager to know Christ as they discussed the Bible daily, he said.

"I felt so light, like all my burdens vanished at once," he said.

"I even invited them to our church in Patiali town, Kasganj", he added.

After 12 days in jail, he was down with malaria and typhoid, he said.

"I am praying every day for Sathin and the other complainants," he said.

"I have forgiven them. I want Sathin to recognize the Lord's love. Through all these hardships, the Lord is with me, and I want them to see this," he added.

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