Delhi police on Thursday registered an FIR on a pastor’s complaint lodged days ago alleging he was thrashed, humiliated and forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” by a group of unknown persons who accused him of carrying out religious conversions forcibly.
The incident allegedly took place on February 25 at South Delhi’s Fatehpuri Berri area. The pastor, Kelom Tet, filed the complaint two days later at Maidan Garhi police station, officers said.
In videos of the purported incident, a group of men can be seen surrounding the pastor and heckling him.
Tet, who has been residing in South Delhi’s Asola for the past 18 years, recalled that he had been targeted by another unknown group 15 years ago at Sanjay Colony here.
“Based on the complaint, we have lodged an FIR against unknown persons under Sections 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and an investigation is underway,” said Harsha Vardhan, additional deputy commissioner of police (South).
In his complaint, the pastor alleged that on February 25 a group of men harassed him and forced him to chant Jai Shri Ram when he was on his way to work after meeting a friend.
“They snatched my bag which had valuables and the Bible. They tried to tear it but could not. They accused me of conducting religious conversions forcibly. They punched me, kicked me and forcibly took me in their car, saying they were taking me to Maidan Garhi police station. They also threatened to break my arms and legs,” he alleged.
The pastor was allegedly taken to Fatehpur Chowk where the men tied his hands with ropes and punched and kicked him again on the roadside, the police said.
“Around 100 people were standing there as mute spectators. They made videos and watched me being thrashed and assaulted. But no one came to help. They also tried to instigate the students who were returning from school to chant Jai Shri Ram and beat me up. This went on for around 45 minutes,” Tet alleged.
He alleged that he somehow managed to escape after the ropes on his hands loosened. Tet informed his pregnant wife, who is at their native place in Ranchi.