Nine Christians charged under a newly enacted anti-conversion law in central India’s Madhya Pradesh state plan to seek bail from the state’s High Court after a trial court denied them bail.
The court in Indore city turned down the bail application on Jan. 27, a day after the Protestant Christians were arrested from a Catholic media centre where they had gathered for a routine prayer service.
Judge Yatindra Kumar Guru denied them bail, saying that “it does not seem appropriate to grant bail to the accused, looking into the facts and circumstances.”
Pastor Patras Savil, who is providing legal help to the detained Christians, said they are now “left with no other option than moving the High Court” for bail.
Police charged 11 Christians with violating Madhya Pradesh’s stringent anti-conversion law after right-wing Hindu activists stormed into a prayer service at Satprakashan Sanchar Kendra, a Catholic media center. They accused the Christians of conducting mass religious conversion.
The media center run by the Society of the Divine Word offer-ed the Protestant group space to conduct prayer services.
The center contacted police when the Hindu activists barged into the center. But the activists demanded police take action against the Christians for violating a new anti-conversion law enacted on Jan. 9.