Pastor dragged out of house worship and severely beaten

Published 28 January 2020  |  
John Fredricks
A group of Christians meet together near their rebuilt church in Kandhamal.

Pastor seriously injured after a group of six men took turns to hit him after he was dragged out of a house worship in Bichpari village, Sonipat District, about an hour north of Delhi.

At first, Hindu extremists attacked pastor Jai Singh and forced him into a nearby school where he was severely beaten by six assailants. Later, they took him to a Hindu temple and forced him to sit before idols.

"They told me that they 'are policemen, we can make you admit whatever we want.' They had beaten up my legs with wooden sticks and pulled my legs apart," pastor Singh told Morning Star News.

"They forcefully undressed me and threw my Kameez away. It was evening by the time they dropped me at Gohana police station. I was severely bruised and was howling in pain."

The injuries were so severe that pastor Singh was unable to walk.

In the police station, an FIR was registered against him. The FIR falsely accused him of offering money to convert Hindus to Christianity.

On January 6, the day after the attack, unknown people drove pastor Singh to the court and presented him before the judge. He was later sent to judicial custody.

"At first I suspected that they must not be a police officer as the persons were not in uniform," the pastor told Morning Star News. "The journey from court to jail was torturous, as this person in plainclothes abused in vulgar Haryanvi language. He abused my family members, including my wife and children. I kept quiet and said in my heart, 'Oh Lord, if it is in Your will, then let it be, but give me strength to endure this. I am weak. I need you,'" he explained.

Pastor Singh said that he was released on January 7 after an attorney with legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom-India filed a petition for bail.

"Even inside the jail, I was very afraid that I might have seizures – I was under medication, and the jail authorities did not allow me to take my medicine," the Christian leader said. "Now I'm in a very bad state. I can't sit or stand or lie down straight on my back for five minutes. The marks of beatings are still all over my body. My legs feel very heavy and stiff, so that I can't even stand on my feet."

Reprints

More News in Nation