Christian in Uttar Pradesh arrested for praying in his house on New Year’s Eve

By Christian Today India |
Christian in Uttar Pradesh

Police in Uttar Pradesh detained a Christian, along with a guest, for praying in his own house on New Year’s Eve in Maharajganj district yesterday.

Pastor Raj Kishore along with some of his friends had gathered in his own house for New Years’ Eve in Sonbarasa village on December 31, when the Kothibari police reached his house around 11 pm and detained him and a friend at the complaint of a neighbour.

The police detained him along with Raj Kumar alleging he was carrying out forced conversion in his house.

Pyare Lal, a Christian leader from Uttar Pradesh, told Christian Today that he spoke to the Station Head Officer (SHO) today morning.

“The SHO told me that he booked Kishore and Kumar under the Code Of Criminal Procedure (CrPc) 151 (“Arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences”), 107 (“breach of peace or disturb public tranquillity”), 116 (“provides for the power of the Magistrate to take immediate measures for the execution of bond..”),” informed Lal.

Raj Kishore and Kumar were presented before the Sub-Divisional Magistrate today (1 January 2024) and were subsequently released. The case against them would go on.

Raj Kishore’s wife Bhagwanti denied the allegation of any kind of conversion taking place in her house.

Speaking to an unidentified source associated with the family, who narrated the incident to Christian Today, Bhagwanti said that her husband, herself, and some acquaintances were sitting and praying peacefully in her house when the police at the “false complaint of someone” detained her husband.

“Due to the rivalry of one of our neighbours, the police have taken my husband Raj Kishore and a guest in our house to the police station on false charges without registering any complaint,” said Bhagwanti in her application.

While the family was worshipping and praying in the house, 5 to 6 policemen entered the home; disrupting their personal peaceful prayer time, they began to make videos of their worship. When the host objected to the video shoot, the men hurled curses at them and left.

Police soon returned to detain Raj Kishore and Raj Kumar, and without investigating the matter or giving any chance to them to defend themselves, arrested them and took them to the police station.

Appealing to the fundamental right to religious freedom given in Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, Bhagwanti told the source that they have the right to worship whom they want to, and read religious scriptures of whatever religion they want to.

She was happy that Kishore and Kumar were let go by the SDM today and that she had her husband back home on the first day of the New Year.

Originally published by Christian Today India