The Assam Police have raked up a controversy by allegedly assaulting a village pastor in Jorhat district, 303 km from Guwahati, accusing him of carrying out religious conversion with the help of some Naga underground groups.
According to the Assam Valley Baptist Mission (AVBM), pastor Tarun Gogoi of Rankham Baptist Church at Selenghat in the district was arrested and beaten up by Assam Police personnel on May 8.
“This is absolutely false,” district police chief Deepak Chaudhry told Hindustan Times. “We had sent a team along with a magistrate, following local complaints about movement of people and building materials from Nagaland,” he said.
Gogoi’s church building, a thatched-roof structure since 1986, is being rebuilt for quite some time now. Chaudhry said people objected to materials being brought in from Nagaland, as they perceive it as a precursor to encroachment.
Reports however suggested that the pastor was arrested because the police suspected he had links with Naga underground groups and received donations from them.
It was after the intervention of local church leaders that the pastor was released from a police station next day.