Attack on Chhattisgarh pastor: Two BYJM members arrested

On Sunday, a group accused Pastor Harish Sahu of indulging in religious conversion and manhandled him as well as Ankush Bariyekar, general secretary of Chhattisgarh Christian Forum, and one Prakash Masih, inside Purani Basti police station
The two BYJM members who were arrested for the attack on a pastor in Raipur on Sunday. (Sourced)
The two BYJM members who were arrested for the attack on a pastor in Raipur on Sunday. (Sourced)
Updated on Sep 07, 2021 02:44 AM IST
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By Ritesh Mishra, Hindustan Times, Raipur

Two members of Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) were arrested by Chhattisgarh police on Monday for allegedly beating a pastor and two others, inside a police station in Raipur, on Sunday.

“Manish Sahu and Sanjay Singh were arrested from different locations in Raipur and were presented before the court. Six other accused in the case are still absconding. We have launched a hunt for them,” said Raipur superintendent of police (SP) Ajay Yadav. However, sources claimed that Yadav has since been transferred to police headquarters, apparently over the incident. They said senior officials were of view that the SP was unable to handle the issue and the accused should have been arrested immediately.

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On Sunday, a group accused Pastor Harish Sahu of indulging in religious conversion and manhandled him as well as Ankush Bariyekar, general secretary of Chhattisgarh Christian Forum, and one Prakash Masih, inside Purani Basti police station.

A video of the incident went viral on social media following which, Yadav attached Purani Basti station house officer Yadumani Sidar to the police lines. An inquiry into the incident was also ordered.

Police registered a case against eight accused and booked them under sections 147 (rioting), 294 (obscene acts and songs), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of Indian Penal Code.

State unit of BJYM alleged the police took sides and claimed they will soon call for a state-wide protest against the police. “We are trying to contain forceful religious conversion in the state. Our people went to Purani Basti police station with a complaint against those pastors but police welcomed them, which led to a brawl. Manish Sahu is a division president of BJYM while Singh is a member,” said Amit Sahu, president, BJYM, Chhattisgarh.

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Monday, October 25, 2021