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UP Police Demands Lump Sum to Release Falsely Accused Christians

Tuesday, August 28, 2018, 20:39 (IST)

Three policemen and a Hindu neighbor on July 31 barged into a Christian family's house in Uttar Pradesh and demanded them to either give them money or go to jail.

A couple with their children and two other Christians were praying in their home in UP's Sarai Gunja village, in Jaunpur District. They prayed in their house every night, the Christian woman, Anita Rajak told Morning Star News.

The police told them they cannot pray in their house and had come to arrest them, Rajak added.

The 31-year-old mother of four told the police, "We are praying in our own house."

"Why would there be an arrest for praying inside one's own house?" she added.

While the family was still digesting the interrogation of the police, one of the officers told her, "Either you let us take your husband into custody and we will register cases against you all, or you pay the penalty so there will be no case."

When she said she had no money, they forced her husband, Pappu Rajak, and another Christian to their Jeep, falsely accusing her for prostitution and her husband for pandering, Rajak told MSN.

"I told my children to continue praying and headed to the police station in the morning at five," she said.

"I had no idea in which police station they had kept my husband, but on my way I kept calling all the Christian brothers in our circle," she added.

Some volunteered to stay at the police station with her until police released her husband and another Christian, she said.

"They had beaten my husband on his face and back while he was in custody and pushed him several times," said Rajak.

Police left her husband after warning the couple to stop praying.

Few months ago, a Hindu family converted to Christianity after their daughter was healed of demon possession, which could be a key drive for the persecution, said Rajak.

"A Hindu family brought their daughter possessed by evil spirits, my husband and I prayed for her and she was freed," she added.

"The entire family decided to follow Christ and joined us for worship regularly, but the Hindu neighbors accused us, saying we forcefully convert people, and they beat my husband severely," said Rajak.

Hatred towards Christians has increased since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which undertakes legal advocacy for religious freedom, has noted.