The Police in Karnataka's Hubbali region arrested a pastor for abusing a Dalit man and forcing him to convert to Christianity. The accused is identified as Somu Avaradhi, a resident of Hubbali, who was arrested after the right-wing activists staged a protest against forced conversions of Hindus to Christianity.
The protestors reportedly sang songs while sitting inside a makeshift Church and demanded the arrest of the Pastor. BJP MLA Aravind Bellad backed the protest.
Abused For Sporting Vermillion
The supposed victim, Vishwanath Budur, belongs to the Bhovi Scheduled Caste community. He lodged a police complaint stating that a pastor named Somu Avaradhi lured him to convert to Christianity. Moreover, he alleged that Avaradhi abused him for sporting vermillion. APMC Navanagar Police Station registered the complaint. After that, the right-wing activists staged a protest outside the Police Station at 8:00 PM after they came to know that the Police had let go of the Pastor.
The Indian Express reported Hubballi-Dharwad police commissioner Labhu Ram, "Somu Avaradhi has been arrested and a probe is underway. The law-and-order situation is under control". Avaradhi told the Police that he had been worshipping Jesus Christ of his own will and never forced anyone to convert his religion. Police sources mentioned that the Pastor belongs to the Panchamasali Lingayat community.
Avaradhi has been booked under sections of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and Indian Penal Code (IPC) 295 (a). The Act provides comfort, relief and rehabilitation of victims who have suffered atrocities. The Act was assented by the President on 11 September 1989 and published in the Gazette of India.