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India: Police Beat Christians in Custody in Uttar Pradesh has documented numerous incidents in which Christians are persecuted by the very officials who should be protecting them from persecution. This takes place not only in India, but in other countries as well, including Pakistan.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in India, see here.

“Police Beat Christians in Custody in Uttar Pradesh, India,” Morning Star News, October 12, 2021:

HYDERABAD, India (Morning Star News) – Police in northern India arrested two Christians on false charges last month and beat them in custody while reviling them for their faith, sources said.

Responding to a call on an emergency response number alleging Christians were carrying out forcible conversions, officers in Uttar Pradesh state on the morning of Sept. 1 took three Christians into custody, identified only as Sabajeet, Gopinath, and Chotelal, from Sabajeet’s home in Tatamuraini, Sultanpur District.

Chanda station police released Gopinath that evening but interrogated Sabajeet and Chotelal while beating them with lathis, heavy bamboo sticks wrapped in iron, Sabajeet said. The two Christians denied the station chief’s charge that that they had betrayed India by becoming Christians, saying they loved their country and had harmed no one, Sabajeet said.

“The in-charge of the police station charged at us with bamboo, shouting casteist slurs; he told us, ‘You filthy rogues, you eat the food from Indian soil and serve foreign masters,’” Sabajeet told Morning Star News. “As this exchange continued, the officer bruised our backs and hands with lathis until he grew tired.”

He and Chotelal told him they had had no contact with the neighbors who called in the complaint, he said.

“I have never gone to their houses nor had even a glass of water from their wells,” Sabajeet said he told the officer. “But the officer kept saying, ‘Why would they complain against you if you had done no wrong? You are sharing about Jesus and attracting Hindus towards your faith. How dare you convert Hindus to Christianity?’”

Sabajeet told the officer that putting his faith in Christ had transformed his life, giving him and others hope in hopeless lives, he said.

“I told the officers that, after putting faith in Christ, ‘I did not touch alcohol nor uttered obscenities from my mouth. My life has changed. I have started valuing human relations and had learned to care for my wife and family,’” Sabajeet said.

When they had arrived at the station, the officer in-charge had threatened them with serious sections of the state’s new unlawful conversions ordinance unless they immediately paid him a “penalty” of 5,000 rupees (US$$67), he said. This happened after Sabajeet’s son had arrived at the police station, he said.

“I asked the officer, ‘Why should we pay the money? What is our crime?’” Sabajeet said. “The officer got furious and threatened my son that he can keep me behind bars for many, many years if he wishes, and that we must quietly do what we have been asked to do.”

Sabajeet said his father-in-law went to the village council and pleaded for them to intervene. Upon realizing from their response that they were colluding with police, his father-in-law obtained the 5,000 rupees and gave it to the police station in-charge, he said.

“My heart could sense that the officers would not let me go easily, and I was being reminded of verses from the Bible, and an inner voice was preparing me that I should not let fear consume,” Sabajeet said. “I was recalling the verses in my heart and was being prepared for the humiliation and the physical pain I was subjected to later that night.”

The next morning the in-charge continued to issue threats of prosecution if they refused to stop Christian worship in the village, he said.

“We told him repeatedly that we pray in our own homes without causing any disturbance to anyone,” Sabajeet said.

Officers at the Chanda police station were unavailable for comment despite several attempts to reach them….

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