» 04/20/2012, 00.00
Indian Kashmir: Christians arrested for "promoting enmity"
According to police Mafford Maharaj Singh, 62, and his wife Kusum, 60, were distributing Christian pamphlets disturbing the local population. Denial of the children: "They were in Srinagar for a wedding. A vendor found out their faith, insulted them and denounced them. "They risk three to five years in prison.
Srinagar (AsiaNews) - Christian
couple in the town of Bandipora (Jammu and Kashmir) have been accused of
"promoting enmity" and arrested for distributing pamphlets. According
to state police, Mafford Maharaj Singh, 62, and his wife Kusum, 60, along with
a local girl disturbed the leaflets to people at a city market, who began to shout
to attract police attention. Their
children, originally from New Delhi, tell a completely different version:
"Our parents went to Srinagar on April 16 last year to attend a wedding.
The next day, while doing some shopping at the market, talking to a salesman our
father said he was Christian and they were insulted, beaten and finally
arrested by local police. "
agents said they arrested the two "as a precaution to prevent tensions in
the area." Meanwhile,
however, the case was registered under the Article 153 A (promoting enmity
between groups on the basis of religion, race, place of birth, residence,
etc..) under the Ranbir Penal Code this Article provides for up to three years prison,
fines or both. In
case of offense on religious grounds, the sentence can be extended up to five
years in prison.
Sajan George, president of the Global
Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), the arrest is evidence the
"growing pressure to which they subject Christians by kashmiri Muslim
majority. Since local imams decided to stop any kind of fitna [whatever may
faith of a Muslim, ed], life for the Christian minority is increasingly
Six months ago there was
the case of Rev. Chander
Mani Khanna, pastor of All Saints Anglican Church,
arrested for having baptized seven young Muslims, due to allegations by an
Islamic court (which has no legal authority in India, ed.)
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (moderate
coalition fighting for the independence of Kashmir from India), has launched a
website that wants to control the alleged conversion to Christianity of young
- says Sajan George - is actually an attempt to monitor the activities of
Kashmir, false accusations of forced conversion against a Protestant pastor
C. M. Khanna, pastor of All Saints Church in Srinagar accused of converting Muslim youth. The President of the Global Council of Indian Christians denounces the continuing cases of pressure and violence against the Christian minority in Kashmir.
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Rev. Channa Mani Khanna is in prison for having baptized seven Muslims. Sajan K George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "We must stop the Talibanisation of the only Indian state with a Muslim majority." Anglican Bishop P.K. Samantha Roy, of the Diocese of Amritsar, "he officiated valid baptisms, he has not done anything illegal."
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A Muslim mob attacked two men, five women and two children, all of English origin. The police prevented the destruction of their house, but have arrested two Christians. Leader of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "The growing anti-Christian intolerance is alarming."
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The authorities have detained Rev. Paul Augustine, local coordinator for Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC). The Christian pastor was attending a Sunday service. Sajan George, president of the association: "The law of the majority prevails. Where the will of the greatest number enforces that the beliefs and practices of the minority remain threatened "
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