BANGALORE, India – A pastor who runs an orphanage and Bible college in Kothanur, Bangalore, was beaten Monday by a group of 35 men who damaged his legs and fractured bones his back and neck.
An associate of Dr. T.L. Angam Haokip, who contacted the New Delhi-based Christian Today newspaper, reported that the pastor was driving along a busy road in Geddalahalli village when a group of 35 men sporting long marks on their foreheads and wearing red threads on wrists stopped his vehicle and inquired if he was a pastor.
Upon discovering that Angam was a pastor, the men said, "It is because of you that the nation is getting ruined," according to the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), and proceeded to brutally beat him and assault him in full public view. They also damaged the jeep in which he was traveling.
"These have all been done with a motive behind [them]," the Rev. Letlal Haokip, a friend of Angam, told Christian Today. "The attackers had already pre-planned and were waiting at a specified area where they believed the pastor would arrive. We are completely shocked by the incident."
According to Letlal, Angam is the president of Biblical Theological College and Seminary in Bangalore and pastors a church for ethnic Kuki Christians in the same city. The native of north-east India earned his master of theology degree from ACA Evangelical Theological College in Bangalore and his doctorate of ministry degree in Hyderabad.
GCIC members who met the pastor at his residence were reportedly shocked to see him in a bruised condition and immediately took him to the Baptist Hospital in Bangalore. Presently, the pastor is receiving treatment.
Surprisingly, when the police were contacted, they were hesitant to file a complaint and even falsely accused the pastor of rash and negligent driving. The incident has shocked and alarmed the Christians of Bangalore, who are concerned about how the police have turned a blind eye to the incident.
Meanwhile, preparations are underway for the Sept. 22 rally in Bangalore to protest the injustice against Christians. The rally will be led by Member of the Parliament H.T. Sangliana and Christians from all over the city are expected to participate in the event.