Pastor Vimal (name changed to protect confidentiality) was leading a prayer meeting recently at the residence of a Chirstian family in Azamgarh, along with ten other people from the same community, when the police arrived unexpectedly and disrupted the prayer meeting. Some miscreants had called the police with the false information that people were being forcefully converted to the Christian faith at this prayer meeting. Soon, a mob of around 60 people surrounded the house and began to demand the arrest of the people attending the meeting. .
Despite police presence, the mob got to the victims , started to shove them around and even used belts to whip some of them. The other victims couldn’t shield Pastor Vimal from their beatings who begged the police to at least save the women and the children from the mob’s rage.
Instead of taking action against the violent mob, the police arrested Pastor Vimal and two other Christians. An FIR was registered against them under Section 3 and 5 of the UP Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Law and Sections 504 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code.
In prison, the victims were repeatedly beaten. Pastor Vimal is still unable to come to terms with the horrid treatment meted out to him for merely praying with other people from the same faith. .
ADF India’s allied lawyers responded to a request for help from one of Pastor Vimal’s friends and subsequently filed an application for their release on bail. On January 5, 2021, they were released after two full weeks in jail.
ADF India allied lawyers are representing the Pastor and his friends and have moved the Court for the quashing of their FIR and for the striking down of the pernicious anti-conversion law. .