Kidnapped pastor, companion denied bail

Another  kidnap of Pastor in MP

Published on  July 25, 2016 in Matters India Reporter

(Note:  First it was the kidnap and torture of a Catholic bishop, Prasad Gallela of Kadappa on April 25/2016, now it is that  of a Protestant pastor Ramlal and his aid Nandlal in Bhopal, Madya Pradesh on the night of July 21st.  In the first case the crime was committed by Catholic priests, in the second by Hindus for alleged conversion activities. In both cases it is people taking law into their own hands which is the mark of an uncivilized and disorderly society. In a democratic society — and we in India profess to be the largest democracy in the world — James Kottorfreedom of religion should be the rule. Therefore there should not be any room for anti-conversion laws, religious belief and practice being personal free choices. It only shows that we Indians have a long way to go to become a democratic free society. The remedy is to educate and enlighten our illiterates, which is the main duty of governments at national and state levels. To live and let live in harmony is the mark of an educated  society. Regrettably, we have a long way to go to reach that stage. james kottoor, editor)

Bhopal: The ordeal of a Protestant pastor and another Christian, who are victims of a recent kidnap incident, continued with a lower court refusing to grant them bail on Monday.       

Right wing Hindu activists kidnapped pastor Rampal Kori ,38, Nand Lal ,49, a member of his church, on July 21 night from a house at Mauganj tehsil in Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh, where they were leading a prayer meeting

According to Pastor Kori, their abductors tied them to a tree and beat them up with wooden sticks, kicked and punched accusing them of indulging in religious conversion, a charge they deny.

Even though the police rescued them in an early morning operation, on July 22, eight hours after their abduction, they were sent to jail on the same day charging them with hurting Hindu religious sentiments and violating the provisions of the stringent anti-conversion law that restrains conversion through allurement or force.

“They were kept in the police station the whole day on Friday after their rescue on the pretext of protection and when the evening came, instead of letting them go home, they were sent to jail”, says a fellow pastor Ram Yesh.“It was really a shock for all of us,” he told mattersindia.com.

According to the information, the police gave ample opportunity to their kidnappers to file a counter case against them in another police station for violation of anti-conversion law and hurting religious sentiments of Hindus instead of arresting them for kidnapping the duo.

The Christians waited at Mauganj police station with no clue as what was happening until they were sent to jail. The move was an apparent attempt by the Hindu activists to save their face and justify the criminal act, those in the know opine.

A senior police officer of Mauganj, Kamlesh Sharma, however, has denied any involvement of police in facilitating the right wing Hindu activists in any manner to lodge a complaint against the Christians. “We have already registered a case against Hindu activists under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, house trespass among other charges”, he told mattersindia.com “We are trying our best to arrest them,” he added.

Now the Christians have moved an appeal before the Sessions court against the order of Judicial Magistrate’s court, which is likely to come up for hearing on July 26.“We know they are innocent and it will be vindicated in the court,: Pastor Yesh says.

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