Pastor arrested for ‘conversion bid’
BANGALORE: Mahadevapura police on Thursday arrested a 31-year-old trainee pastor for allegedly trying to convert 23 children, including 14 girls, during a summer camp here.
Victor Babu alias Victor, a native of Dharmavaram in Andhra Pradesh,was held following a complaint filed by a few parents. Police recovered prayer books, pamphlets and other material from him and registered a case under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code.
Police said Victor was imparting religious lessons to the 23 children in the Hebron prayer hall in Kundalahalli near Whitefield. According to complainants, Victor told them he would run a month-long free summer camp for their children. The camp opened three days ago. A mini-bus (KA 03 D 8949) would pick up children from Mahadevapura, Kundalahalli and surrounding areas every day.
Victor said: “I taught them prayers and songs but that doesn’t mean I was converting them.” Parents claimed Victor offered education and other basic facilities to children if they (parents) accepted his conditions. But Victor didn’t elaborate what his conditions were, they added.
Section 295A Pertains to deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs and suggests imprisonment for three years, or fine, or both.