getting arrested for doing good

A group was gathered to put together relief supplies for a local nomadic community  They had gotten permission for the project for the head of Kakrahia village. Arrested were three sons of the homeowner where the packaging was underway and their cousin who are not members of a church. They were arrested along with four members of a local church.

The police accused the group of violating social distancing and beat the local pastor who organized the project.  The group, some of whom were beaten, were arrested for crimes of “negligent acts likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life” and “disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.”

The officers interrogating the pastor wanted him to confess where the funds had come from for the project. Police asked him questions like “Where does the money come from to lure people to convert?” and “From which country do you get foreign funds?” The police persisted with the allegations that the church received funds from abroad that were used to convert people away from Hinduism by paying them  huge monetary sums.  The funds came from a special collection taken up by the local church to help during the corona virus lockup.

The local news outlet reported the event as a group of a dozen people gathered in a room to pray.

Militant Hindu nationalism tends to ignore freedom of religion making India one of the worst places on earth for some faiths.  Many Christians and other non-Hindus in India are being denied government-issued food rations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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