Policie beat Dalit Pastor in India

( [email protected] ) Mar 13, 2004 07:06 AM EST

A lay pastor from Mahmudpur village in the Sultanpur district of northern Indian's Uttar Pradesh state was beaten while in police custody and continues to face threats from Hindu activists, reported Open Doors of India.

Ram Prakash was visiting a Christian relative in an "untouchable" Dalit colony last month, when he was attacked by Hindu activists. Local high-caste Hindu leaders led a group of about 200 people to Harish Chandra's house, where they accused Prakash of converting the local people to Christianity. The Hindu leaders then seized Prakash and began to physically threaten him. Chandra pulled Prakash back into the house and locked the doors but the crowd soon broke through the door and began beating Chandra and his wife. They also threatened the women in the house and used abusive language against other Christians who were present. Meanwhile Prakash managed to call the local police on his mobile phone, which was later taken from him by the mob.

When the police arrived, they arrested Prakash instead of the attackers. Prakash was taken to the police station and held on the pretext of further investigation. He was eventually released on bail, and doctors performed a medical examination, confirming that he had been severely beaten in police custody.

Hindu activists later charged Prakash of the Indian Penal Code for spreading communal tension under section 151.

[source: Compass]