Mother Of 3 Under Persecution. 7 Months Salary Withheld…Transfered 160 Kilometers Away From Home.
Few days after Hindu extremists in northern India staged a protest to register a false allegation against a Christian mother, her government employer has redeployed her to a district about 160 kilometers away.
Irate Hindu-awakening movement in Baddi, in India’s Himachal Pradesh state last Wednesday (Feb. 13) staged a protest against conversions from Hinduism to Christianity shouting angry slogans against Christians.
Led by their district secretary, Sandeep Sachdeva, they marched to the Baddi police station and officially booked a complaint against Archana Jaiswal, a state education board employee and former Hindu who put her faith in Christ. She was accused of offering monetary inducement for Hindus to convert.
In the complaint, boutique owner Sonu Devi claims that Jaiswal offered her 300,000 rupees (US$4,200) to convert to Christianity and pressured her to divorce her husband. Devi called for police to take action against Jaiswal, claiming she posed a threat to Hindu families.
Denying the allegations, Jaiswal, a mother of three said: “I never converted anyone – who am I to tell anyone to convert?”
“I am an ordinary person, I don’t preach or teach any religious teachings. I’m not a religious person. It has been only about two years since I came to Christ. I found peace and I will follow Christ; it is my personal decision.”
In what looks like an official persecution of a Christian and Christianity Jaiswal received her transfer order today and is making preparations to move, she said. She must begin work in Dharamshala, about 130 miles away, as soon as possible. Jaiswal has already faced persecution at her work, where her politically-connected superiors have come up with various pretexts for withholding her pay since she converted to Christianity.
“I have not received my salary for the past seven months,” she said. “I never complained and never fought with the people in my office or neighbors who had been conspiring against me.”
Her husband is a policeman in a neighboring district and a supporter of the Hindu extremist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Jaiswal said.
“I am praying for the salvation of my husband and children,” she told reporters on Tuesday (Feb. 19). “Bhajans and Keerthans [Hindu songs accompanied by clapping, chimes and cymbals] are right in front of my door. They are saying that I should be given a bath in Gangajal [holy water of the River Ganges] to purify me.”
As part of harassment targeted at Jaiswal, a protest was unnecessarily mounted in front of the government residential quarters where she lives on Sunday (Feb. 17), against a suicide attack on a convoy of the Central Reserve Police Force in Pulwama town, in Jammu and Kashmir state.
The protest included the performing of pujas and havan, ritual Hindu fire and burning of grain to purify surroundings, she said.
“They were shouting slogans and calling me out to sit in the pujasand havans,” Jaiswal told newsmen “The real intention behind the protest doesn’t seem to be expressing solidarity to the Jawans killed in the terror attack, but to harass me. They were making false accusations that I convert Hindus to Christianity.”
According to a 2018 report, Jaiswal who had gone alongside other Christians to show support for Pastor and Mrs. Rajinder Singh at a police station was dramatically joined in a non-bailable allegations of deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings (Section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code) and promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion (Section 153-A).
“People were against me as I rented my house to Pastor Singh, and he conducted prayers there,” she said. “I reside in a government-provided house, so I had let the pastor use my own house for the Lord’s work. Now, because of their [Hindu extremist] opposition, they vacated the place, and we no longer gather for worship as a congregation.”
“They were only present to give me moral support at the police station, but police lodged the case against her also,” Pastor Singh said.