Hindu extremists in the National Capital Territory of Delhi last month tied a pastor to a post at a busy intersection and beat him before hundreds of people, but police have yet to make arrests, sources said.
Accusing Pastor Kelom Kalyan Tete of forcible conversion as they beat him, Hindu extremists on Feb. 25 then abducted the bleeding pastor, bound his hands and tied him to an iron rod that divides a road into two at Fatehpur Beri Chowk crossroad in South Delhi, Pastor Tete said.
Though the attack took place in daylight in view of hundreds of people in a busy market area, police have yet to make arrests. Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Harsha Vardhan said on March 4 that officers had questioned people and the investigation was ongoing.
In a video on social media, the bound Pastor Tete is seen sobbing as more than 150 people – including schoolchildren in uniform – surround him, taunt him and strike him.
Pastor Tete, 35, told Morning Star News that the assailants incited the schoolchildren and other passersby to shout, “Hail lord Ram” and to hit him for alleged conversion activities.
“A huge crowd of around 150-200 people surrounded me and assaulted me, including schoolchildren who kicked me with their legs,” said Pastor Tete, who was punched and kicked in the head, chest, stomach, back and repeatedly slapped in the face.
“They hit me on my head so many times that I began to bleed from my nose and mouth – I thought that my nose bone was broken,” he told Morning Star News. “They got water and splashed it on my face, wiped the blood that was oozing out with a handkerchief and started to hit me again.”
The Hindu extremists had seized his phone, bag, Bible, motorbike, helmet and vehicle documents. Initially he had been beaten about four miles away at the Bhati Mines area at about 10:15 a.m., from which he was abducted, bound and beaten until about noon, he said.
“I was silent like Jesus was on the cross,” Pastor Tete said. “All my strength was gone. My vision became blurred, and I was not able to hear properly because of being slapped hard on my face repeatedly. I lost my voice for some time and was not able to further shout for help.”