The two church leaders of Laitumkhrah Presbyterian Church who were allegedly harassed by Bajrang Dal activists in Bihar are safe and sound and are on their way home.
According to sources, Rev. Reuben G. Laloo and elder Tomlin Nongkhlaw have left Patna today by flight and are on their way back to Shillong today evening.
State Director General of Police (DGP) Lajja Ram Bishnoi has personally taken up with Bihar Police to enquire about the condition of the two church leaders and to facilitate their safe return.
According to Bishnoi, both Rev. Laloo and Nongkhlaw are safe and sound and are with the Patna Police.
Bishnoi also said that as per the information obtained from Patna police, the incident happened at a place under the jurisdiction of Alamganj Police Station.
“They were at a private residence of their friend. A rumour was spread out that they were there to carry out forceful conversion of Hindus to Christianity. Because of that some Bajrang Dal supporters came and created an altercation. Immediately, police arrived and took them to the police station to file an FIR against those who created an altercation,” Bishnoi said.
The DGP has also requested the Bihar police to provide safety and security to the two till their last departure from Patna.
Similarly, East Khasi Hills Superintendent of Police Sylvester Nongtnger has denied the news circulating in social media that the two church elders from Shillong were assaulted in Bihar.
Nongtnger said that on receiving information of the same, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Patna and the Superintendent of Police (City) East Patna were contacted by East Khasi Hills Police and the Meghalaya DGP.
He said that as per information given by Patna Police, at around 1:30 pm today, rumours had spread of some conversion going on in a house after which people had gathered leading to an altercation and manhandling of the occupants present at the house.
“The police from Alamganj police station arrived there to contain the situation and escorted the two people who are safe and without injury to the thana for safe protection. Bihar Police had been communicated to give all the security and protection for their onward journey to Shillong and have escorted them to the airplane. Legal action has been taken by Bihar Police against the miscreants,” Nongtnger said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma today condemned the incident.
The chief minister has instructed the Meghalaya police to be in touch with Bihar police who are helping the church elders where their statements are being taken to file an FIR against those miscreants.
Clarifying on the incident, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said there was negative news in the social media that the two church leaders were manhandled in Patna.
“However, that is not the case. They were not beaten up and it was just a verbal altercation. I wanted to clarify because we are worried this may lead to communal tension in Meghalaya. I want to request all concerned to refrain from spreading false information in social media. The government has taken note of the issue and done the needful,” Tynsong said.
He added that State Chief Secretary Donald P. Wahlang and State police officials have communicated with their Bihar counterparts and have also sought security to the two church leaders.
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