Two Women Pastors Arrested in India

Two women pastors were arrested and sent to jail on false charges by a Hindu Nationalist Movement in Karnataka, India, according to a Christian advocacy group.

The Global Council of Indian Christians reported that police arrested pastors Lalithamma and Kadaur Devaki on allegations of creating communal disharmony and disturbing peace in Kadur taluk, Chickmaglur district.

The incident occurred on Sunday, June 6, after a group of men from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, who were accompanied by police, disrupted the worship service.

The police interrogated the pastors for about four hours, said GCIC. They are currently being held in Hassan jail.

"The police officers under pressure from the local MLA is believed to have foisted false charges under IPC 295 A against the helpless women," GCIC lamented.

The BJP-ruled Karnataka state has been witnessing an increase in anti-Christian violence. The GCIC recorded 72 attacks on Christians in the state last year.

A week before the latest incident, Hindu activists reportedly attacked a pastor accused him of forced conversions.

"The radicals belonging to RSS first manhandled Pastor Elisha Gangadhar and then dragged him all the way to the local police station," reported All India Christian Council.

"At the police station, the officers also ill-treated him alleging he was involved in forcible conversions in the area," AICC added.

The council condemned the attack on the pastor and sought immediate action against the miscreants.

Of the more than 52 million people in Karnataka, a little more than 1 million are Christians.