The arrested GEMS missionaries of Madhya Pradesh were released on bail yesterday (4 Oct 2015) evening. While in police custody they were severely beaten up by the policemen.
The three GEMS missionaries Bro. Stephen Raj Kumar, Bro. Harilal and Bro. Anil were arrested by the police at 9:00 PM on 3rd Oct 2015, instigated by a group of VHP-RSS members. This happened when the missionaries went to show gospel and social film in village Motawa as they were invited by the local villagers who are believers.
When they were packing to leave a group of 15 policemen along with VHP-RSS members came in two vehicles and forcefully took the three brothers to the Majhgawan police station. Since the mobile phones of the brothers were confiscated by the police they could not be contacted further. Through the help of ADF (Alliance Defending Freedom) and Persecution Relief phone calls were made to the police station. Sub Inspector O.P. Singh and Constable Mahendra Pratap kept saying that since the SHO Khem Singh has not arrived investigation has not been done.
False Reporting by Dainik Bhaskar
The next day morning, that is 4th October (Sunday) the newspaper Dainik Bhaskar carried a news on the arrest of the missionaries with false report. Translation of the Dainik Bhaskar Newspaper article:
Police caught the three who were doing religious conversion
The matter of religious conversion happening in villages especially in backward places is rising. Missionaries are converting innocent Adivasis by giving them money and celebrating it. A likewise issue has come up in the area under Majhgawan police station. In the Bargawan Panchayat, Village Motawa three were arrested for converting.
According to TI Khem Singh, Rajaram s/o Dadan Prasad Sahu had complained that some people are converting illiterate people in Motawa village as Christians. As soon he received the complaint he went with the force and arrested Hari Lal Rawat s/o Chotelal belonging to Bodhabagh, Anil Jaiswal s/o Rohit Prasad of Captanganj, Azamgarh and Stephen Rajkumar s/o Pushparaj of Chennai who resides at Civillines and have put them in custody according to 149/15 and 3,4 of M.P. Freedom of Religion Act 1968 and 295a and 506.
When we called up the police station again that morning the Sub Inspector said that FIR has been filed on the three on Sections 295a, 506, 34 apart from 3 & 4 of Freedom of Religious Act of M.P. We also learnt that they will be produced before a Magistrate that evening.
Released through Partnership
In the meanwhile Mr. Vijayesh of EFI (Evangelical Fellowship of India) arranged for their staff Mr. Jagdish Sahu to travel to Satna to help the missionaries. With his help and the assistance of Bro. Shibu Thomas (Persecution Relief) all the three were bailed out at 5:15 PM of 4th October. This was not less than a miracle and was an answer to the prayers of many from around the world.
Beaten in Police Custody
Only after the missionaries were released did we come to know that they were severely beaten up by the policemen. ASP Rameshwar Yadav was present at the police station. The SHO (TI) Khem Singh was also present from the beginning whereas the Sub-Inspector lied. The ASP and TI ordered for the policemen to beat the missionaries. They had banged their heads on the wall, slapped on their faces, kicked with boots and have beaten them with lathis. The police who are to protect every citizen irrespective of religion, caste and language on the contrary have harmed them. While they were beaten the VHP leader was present inside the police station.
Yellow Journalism by Dainik Bhaskar
Dainik Bhaskar carried yet another false report this morning (5 Oct 2015).
Game of Religious Conversion in the Pretext of NGO: One Team Active in Every District
The people who were arrested in the matter of religious conversion in Majhgawan Police Station area are paid workers of a NGO run by the money of Christian missionaries. This matter came up during interrogation. This game is happening in every District of the State in the pretext of NGO. It is significant that on receiving information from the villagers on Saturday evening the police arrested Stephen Rajkumar s/o Pushparaj age 40 years of Puranik Tola, Hari Lal Rajat s/o Chotelal of Bodhabagh - Rewa, Anil Jaiswal s/o Rohit Prasad of Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh; they were produced in court on Sunday and all of them got bail.
Stephen is the Team Leader
The leader of this three members is Stephen who is living in Satna since 2011 and works for the NGO. The headquarters is in Rohtas, Bihar. Which is funded by Christian missionaries. This NGO proclaims Christianity in the pretext of cleanliness and education. Teams like this are in other districts as well. Anil and Harilal joined to work with the NGO and Stephen in 2011. The team leader gets Rs. 12000 every month and Anil receives four thousand and Hari gets Rs. 3500. As this matter came to limelight the police has become vigilant. Information is being gathered in all levels. Senior officials are also being informed.
What they say?
The matter of religious conversion is not like organized gangs. But still we are on look out on every situation. No one will be given the opportunity to disturb harmonious environment. – Rameshwar Yadav, ASP.
This morning (5 Oct 2015) after getting statement from GEMS, The Indian Express published a report - http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/three-arrested-for-converting-locals-to-christianity-in-motwa/
We have learnt that the VHP-RSS group has gone to Motawa village and threatened the believers of dire consequences. They have also said that this Sunday they will perform Ghar Wapsi.
Pray for the protection of the missionaries. Please pray as they give an application to the SP of Satna, today on the atrocities by the police & the RSS-VHP Pray for the police and the media to stand for justice. Pray for the perpetrators and the opposers to be touched by the love of Jesus Christ.