The Himachal Pradesh Anti Conversion Bill is not yet enacted as Law but started Harassing Christian Minority in the State


New Delhi, January 22, 2007. The Care and service to the destitute orphan children by Pastor Behal from Kangra in Himachal Pradesh – an army retired captain has been charged as anti social activist by Siva Sena, Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) - the World Hindu Council. A Drug Addict Rehabilitation Center at Kullu attacked and counselors arrested with false charges. Mr. Sam Abraham a senior Christian leader from Himachal Pradesh informed to All India Christian Council that a large number of Hindu fanatics led by the leaders and activists of Bajrang Dal, Siva Sena and VHP assembled at the gate of Pastor Behal's resident on January 21, 2007 and demanded him to close down the children home and leave the place. (Right Picture: Hindu Fanatics protesting in front of Pastor Behal`s home) Dr. Abraham Mathai – Vice President of Maharastra Minority Commission informed Ajay Yadav – Superintendent of Police, Kangra that any unwanted incident should be prevented and Pastor Behal, his family and orphan children must be protected from Hindu fanatics groups. Latter Ms. Sudha Devi – Sub-Division Magistrate of Kangra told to All India Christian Council that the Police forces have dispersed the Hindu Fanatics assembled at the resident of Pastor Behal. Ms Sudha Devi also told that Hindu fanatics have submitted a memorandum against Pastor Behal with charges that Pastor Behal has mistreated the orphan children and converting them to Christian. Pastor Behal and his family have been living in Kangra for last twenty years. He hails from Punjab and started rendering his service of care to the destitute children after he retire from army. Another attack happened in Himachal Pradesh. The Drug Addiction Rehabilitation Center "Last Restore" at Kullu has been under Hindu fanatic attack. Four of the counselors have been booked and arrested on January 17, 2007 with false charges. Mr. Doorja – Sub Inspector of Kullu Police station told to the All India Christian Council that Mr. Rajesh Toppo, Mr. Nizam Minthang, Mr. Gopal Singh Bhatia and Mr. Lalboi have been booked (FIR NO. 44/07) under the section of IPC 295A, 341, and 342. Latter they were produced before the magistrate and released on bail. Mr. Lalboi – one of the accused told to All India Christian Council that Mr. Amos – the complaint from Gaziabad and Binod Naini from Delhi were going through the rehabilitation with the consents of their parents, ran away from the center without any information. Both the addicts did not have money to reach their home and they approached a man for financial help but latter the man happened to be an activist and leader of VHP. Instead of helping them financially, he took both the addicts to Kullu Police station and helped them to file complain against the rehabilitation center. Mr. Lalboi said that they were accused falsely for very service of care and love rendered to drug addicts. Dr. John Dayal – Member of National Integration Council, General Secretary of All India Christian Council said that The Himachal Pradesh Anti Conversion Bill 2006 is not yet enacted as law of the state but started harassing minority Christian NGOs rendering humanitarian service to destitute of the state. He strongly condemns the police forces, district authorities and Hindutva forces for accusing falsely to the Christian minorities in the state. (Left Picture: Ms. Sudha Devi with the protestors) The Last Resort – the Drug Addiction Rehabilitation center still has 34 drug addicts who are under going the rehabilitation process. This service is rendered through Thangboi Haokip – son of Mr. Sanson Haokip – former minister of Manipur state. Many human rights organizations and political parties have appealed to State Government to repeal the Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill 2006 which was passed on December 29, 2006 at Dharamsala. The bill bans any force conversion and defaulters will be imprisoned up to 2 years and/or fined Rs 25,000.00. Bill also require 30 days prior information to state authorities if any person wants to change faith and religion which is totally against the freedom of religion provided in Article 25 of Indian Constitution and 18 of UN Universal Declaration. All India Christian Council has appealed to Mrs. Sonia Gandhi - President of All India Congress Committee to use her office to appeal Himachal Pradesh Government to reverse the controversial and draconian bill. Christian Council has also appealed Mrs. Gandhi to set up an anti party activity against Shri. Virbharda Singh - Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh.

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