HYDERABAD, India, January 24, 2020 (Morning Star News) – Before Pastor Jai Singh appeared before a judge in northern India and was jailed on false charges of luring people to convert, Hindu extremists had dragged him from house worship to a school where groups of six beat him in turns, he said.
“From the school, they took me to a Hindu temple and forced me to sit before the idols,” Singh said. “They told me that they ‘are policemen, we can make you admit whatever we want.’ They had beaten up my legs with wooden sticks and pulled my legs apart.”
He was wearing a long, white tunic called a Kameez that was soaked in blood from the beatings on Jan. 5 in Bichpari village, Sonipat District, about an hour north of Delhi.
“They forcefully undressed me and threw my Kameez away,” Pastor Singh told Morning Star News. “It was evening by the time they dropped me at Gohana police station. I was severely bruised and was howling in pain.”
The radical Hindus had assaulted him and other house-church worshippers after an attempt to attack their mother church in nearby Siwanka over Christmas was thwarted, source said. The pastor, who struggles to provide for his family as a day-laborer, is still unable to walk due to the severity of the beatings, they said.
Police took Pastor Singh to a hospital, where he received an injection, then returned him to the police station. Soon Inspector Shri Bhagwan registered a First Information Report (FIR) against him, pastor Ram Kishan of Siwanka and three other unnamed persons based on a complaint by a Bichpari resident identified only as Ramesh, the pastor said.
The FIR falsely accused them, Naresh Singh and several other Christians of offering money to Hindus to lure them to convert to Christianity, he said. The next day, Jan. 6, he was presented before a judge and sent to judicial custody.
“Unknown persons in plainclothes were driving me to the court and then to the jail,” Pastor Singh told Morning Star News. “At first I suspected that they must not be a police officer as the persons were not in uniform. The journey from court to jail was torturous, as this person in plainclothes abused in vulgar Haryanvi language. He abused my family members, including my wife and children. I kept quiet and said in my heart, ‘Oh Lord, if it is in Your will, then let it be, but give me strength to endure this. I am weak. I need you.’”
An attorney with legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom-India filed a petition for bail, and he was released on Jan. 7, he said.
“Even inside the jail, I was very afraid that I might have seizures – I was under medication, and the jail authorities did not allow me to take my medicines,” Pastor Singh said. “Now I’m in a very bad state. I can’t sit or stand or lie down straight on my back for five minutes. The marks of beatings are still all over my body. My legs feel very heavy and stiff, so that I can’t even stand on my feet.”
After he was treated at a hospital in Sonipat District, an undisclosed Christian organization has enabled him to receive treatment from a hospital in Delhi, he said.
Vinod Kumar, son of accused Pastor Ram Kishan of the mother church in Siwanka, said the same radical Hindu assailants had shown up at that congregation’s Christmas celebrations. Church members did not let them enter the premises.
“We kept watch that day and stopped them from causing any disturbance,” Kumar said. “They could not do anything and waited outside for a while for a chance to attack but, vexed at us restraining them, they left without causing any harm.”
On the first Sunday of 2020, the assailants then showed up at the Bichpari village house church and attacked Pastor Singh, home-owner Naresh Singh and his relatives.
“Their minor children also suffered injuries,” Kumar said. “Pastor Jai Singh is a native of Siwanka. He is not able to sit or stand or walk as of now. It seems there are internal injuries that would take time to heal. There was a crack in Pastor Singh’s right leg, and by God’s grace it is healing.”
Pastor Singh said a mob of 250 to 300 people initially surrounded the house during the Jan. 5 worship. Naresh Singh went out to find out what they wanted, and those inside suddenly heard the mob attacking him.
Before they could go outside to help him, about 30 assailants burst into the home and began shouting at them in foul language, Pastor Singh said. Naresh Singh’s female relatives tried to stop the radical Hindus from attacking Pastor Singh and were shoved away, injuring the women and children, the pastor said.
“Minor children of Naresh Singh and his brother also got injured,” Pastor Singh said. “Then they held me by my collar and dragged me outside the home.”
Accusing him and Naresh Singh of being responsible for the growing number of people converting to Christianity, the approximately 30 assailants beat them while the rest of the radical Hindus looked on, he said.
“They pushed me to the floor, and I could not understand who was kicking me, who was slapping or beating on my back,” Pastor Singh said. “As a huge crowd surrounded me, I could only see their hands and shoes kicking me. They picked me up from the floor and took me inside Singh’s home and told me that I should go with them, if not they would kill me there on the spot.”
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Source: Christian Headlines