Assam: Church pastor, among 5 held, for ‘killing, hanging’ tribal youth on refusing to convert to marry girlfriend

According to the police, the pastor, his assistant and others had come to his house to force the deceased to convert to Christianity on the day of murder. They had taken away the girl, who was willingly living with the deceased as they were in love

Abhishek Awasthi September 17, 2022 19:50:09 IST
Assam: Church pastor, among 5 held, for ‘killing, hanging’ tribal youth on refusing to convert to marry girlfriend

Bishal was found dead on 12 September. Firstpost

New Delhi: A local Christian pastor and his assistant have been arrested in connection with the ‘lynching’ of tribal youth Biki Bishal in Assam’s Lakhimpur district after he refused to convert in order to marry his Christian girlfriend.

After Firstpost reported the gruesome murder and hanging of Biki Bishal the pastor of Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church and his assistant were arrested. The two accused have been identified as pastor Ismail Shabbar (44) and his assistant Niranjan Aian.

Those arrested also include the father and uncle of the girl.

Bishal was murdered on the night of 11 September and his body was found hanging from a tree near his house the next morning. Biki was allegedly lynched by a mob of around 200 people armed with sticks, who were drawn from local churches, after he had refused to convert in order to marry his Christian girlfriend in Lakhimpur district of Assam.

He was given a choice between converting to Christianity or forgetting the girl for good.

The accused have been sent to police remand for two days, said BM Rajkhowa, Lakhimpur’s Superintendent of Police.

According to the police, the pastor, his assistant and others had come to his house to force the deceased to convert to Christianity on the day of murder. They had taken away the girl, who was willingly living with the deceased as they were in love.

“However, the primary investigation has revealed that the deceased was murdered and hanged by the father and the uncle of the deceased who have been arrested and are being interrogated,” the police official told Firstpost.

Meanwhile, sources told Firstpost that when Biki refused to convert, the pastor and his assistant allegedly instigated a fanatic mob to attack his house.

Meanwhile, human rights organisation Legal Rights Observatory (LRO) tweeted on Friday that local Christian leaders, including the principal of a Catholic school, organised a mass gathering in a church allegedly to pressure the administration to secure the release of the pastor.

The incident took place Koilamri Balijan area of Assam.

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