A Christian priest and two others were beaten up by a mob inside a police station in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur city on Sunday, NDTV reported. The assault was captured on camera.
Two people have been arrested in connection with the incident, according to PTI.
The incident took place at the Purani Basti police station after the priest, Harish Sahu, was called in when the police received complaints about forced religious conversions. Members of a Hindutva organisation had also arrived at the police station, demanding action against the accused.
When Sahu came to the police station along with some members of the Christian community, an argument took place between them and those belonging to the Hindutva organisation.
Sahu was then taken into the room of the officer in charge of the police station, where tension further escalated, according to NDTV. The police said Sahu was assaulted inside the room. Chhattisgarh Christian Forum General Secretary Ankush Bariyekar and a man named Prakash Masih was also beaten up, reported the Hindustan Times.
Videos of the incident showed the priest being beaten with shoes. The police can be seen trying to control the mob and move them outside the room.
The police registered a case against seven people. They have been booked under sections 147 (rioting), 294 (obscene acts and songs), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, a police official said.
“There was no damage done to the police station during the quarrel between the two groups,” said Additional Superintendent of Police (City) Tarakeswar Patel. “We are now looking into the complaint [of conversions]. Based on what we find, we will take action.”
The incident came a week a mob of more than 100 people allegedly beat up another priest, 25-year-old Kawalsingh Paraste, in his house in the state’s Kabirdham district. The mob had accused Paraste of conducting religious conversions too.