Paul Kumar, his wife Sushmita, and a relative Sonia were returning home after visiting an acquaintance in Bihar’s Vaishali, who had been unwell for a while, when they were intercepted by a group of men. The men began thrashing Paul, accusing him of forceful conversion, and yelling slurs at him. In videos of the incident that subsequently went viral on social media, the men can be heard saying “hamare Ram se jo khilwad karega, hum usey barbaad kar denge/ We will destroy whoever tries to mess with our (lord) Ram.”
The Quint tracked down the victim, Paul, who described how the incident from 12 January transpired. “Our acquaintance hadn’t been keeping well, so we decided to check up on her. On our way back, 7-8 men just hurled on us and began beating me. They even threatened to raise their hand on my wife,” Paul told The Quint.
You can watch the video of the assault here:
Videos of the incident were first shared on Facebook by Aryan Singh, the Vaishali district president of the Rashtriya Bajrang Dal, an offshoot of Bajrang Dal.
In the caption, Aryan Singh has written: “In our Vaishali’s Jandaha town, (these people) had come to convert Hindus to Christianity. They don’t know that a strong nationalist called Aryan Singh lives in Vaishali… Note: In our Vaishali district, the Isa-Musa people (Christians) get the worthy treatment that they deserve.”
‘Completely Traumatised, Talking About Christianity Not a Crime’: Victim
29-year-old Paul said that he and his wife are believing Christians, and had only gone to meet their friend to check up on her health. “Yes we are Christians and we openly talk about our faith. I am a pastor. But that doesn’t make us criminals,” said Paul, who is originally from Odisha and has been living in Bihar for the last few years.
He said that after being thrashed, they were able to “beg for mercy” and run away from there. “My body was swollen after the incident. And I have been completely traumatised since then.”
In the video, an older woman accompanying the couple, Sonia, is seen trying to stop the attackers. The men then turn to her, push her away and say “yeh budhiya ko maaro pehle/ thrash this old woman first.”
Paul said that since the incident, he has been receiving calls from unknown numbers asking if “he can help them convert to Christianity.”
This story was originally published in thequint.com . Read the full story here