Hindu radicals disrupt church services, police quiz Americans
By Siddhant Mohan
Maharajganj: Members of a Hindu extremist organization, on April 7 stopped a religious meeting in a church in Maharajganj district of Uttar Pradesh, northern India.
The local police allegedly aided the Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV, Hindu youth army) led by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in attacking Christians. The program was attended by 11 Americans, reports twocircles.net.
According to reports, a group of around 150 people, gathered at a church in Dadhauli, a village under Kothibhar police station of Maharajganj district. While the group was praying, some HYV activists reached the place and saw US nationals in the prayer meeting.
The Hindu radicals went to Kothibhar police station and alleged that the priest and US nationals were involved in a religious conversion in the church premises.
Station House Officer Anand Kumar Gupta accompanied them to the church and stopped the prayer, although the police could not find any evidence of conversion activities. The Police checked the passports and visas of the Americans and let them go as they could not find anything improper.
Gupta later told TwoCircles.net that the HYV activists came to them with the complaint that the US nationals were carrying out the religious conversion in the church. “We responded to the complaint and found no such thing was happening on the ground. But we did check their papers.”
Witnesses report that the whole fiasco lasted for more than five hours. Police, along with the local intelligence unit, questioned the Americans. The Hindu radicals kept insisting that the police file a case against and arrest pastor U Hannah Adam.
The situation got serious after the police let the Americans go. The Hindu radicals questioned the police action and created chaos. The HYVmembers intensified their demand to arrest Adam, which the police refused.
Gupta also said the Hindu radicals insisted the police probe the matter thoroughly. “But investigating a simple prayer meeting would mean creating a hindrance in the religious freedom of the individual,” the police officer said.
A source also informed that police intervention was necessary as members of HYV had vandalized a church and beaten people in Belwa village a few weeks ago.
A person related to the local church, who was present at the meeting, said on the condition of anonymity, “We were just praying there. No such conversion was being carried out but goons came and tried to disrupt a peaceful event with the help of the police.”