Indian police round up 4 suspects in murder case of Christian pastor

July 24, 2017 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india

Ludhiana, July 24, 2017: Indian authorities have rounded up four suspects on Saturday in connection with the murder of a Christian pastor in Ludhiana.

According to Times of India, the police carried out a search operation in Jageerpur, Arjun Colony, Kakke, Bajrna and Bahadur K on Saturday and rounded up four youths in connection with the murder of Pastor Sultan Masih.

The pastor was shot dead by two motorcycle-borne assailants on July 14 while he was talking on the phone outside the Temple of God church in Ludhiana. The attack was captured by CCTV cameras installed at the church, but a police spokesman said that the footage was too dark to make out the faces of the attackers.

Over 200 police officers led by senior officials carried out the search operation which lasted almost six hours.

“The police showed us the CCTV footage and asked if we have seen anyone in our area. Besides, cops also asked about 6-ft men. The police also asked about the bikes and cars owned by villagers,” a villager stated.

“The police noted down names and mobile numbers of several villagers. They also asked not to give house or room on rent to any person without police verification,” another villager said.

Among those arrested was a scrap dealer, a worker at a welding shop and the owner of the welding shop.

The arrests were made on the same day the Christian community threatened to hold protests if the authorities failed to arrest the perpetrators by July 24.

“We will hold Masih’s memorial service on July 24. Till then, the police should be able to arrest the culprits else the Christian community that is living under fear would be forced to hold protest demonstrations in Ludhiana,” said Albert Dua, a representative of the Christian community.

Two days after the shooting, hundreds of Christians took to the streets and blocked off a major national highway for three hours in protest of Masih’s murder. The protesters only agreed to leave after receiving assurances form the police that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.

Meanwhile, the pastor’s 22-year-old son, Alisha Masih, has revealed that the pastor received death threats on social media before he was shot.

Alisha, who is also training to be a pastor, also noted that his father had been approached by a group of men after an event celebrating the anniversary of his church in May. The men reportedly asked Masih where he found the money to pay for the function attended by about 800 people, and whether he would give them something if they converted to Christianity.

According to Alisha, the pastor told the men that he would not give them anything and that those who converted had done so only because of their belief in Jesus.

Alisha believes that the perpetrators were monitoring his father on the night he was killed, noting that the attackers waited until the pastor was alone before carrying out the shooting.

“Our father was a courageous man and he was never afraid to die for Jesus. He has put the same zeal in us. Our family will continue to serve God,” said Alisha.

– christian times

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