Saturday, June 28, 2008

City police entry into church angers pastors

HYDERABAD: The presence of police at the 40-year-old Hebron Church in Golconda crossroads on June 8 has angered the congregation.

With two groups trying to gain control over the church, police reportedly entered the premises and detained three pastors.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, senior pastor John Stuart said the Chikkadpally police interrupted the pastors' prayer on June 8 and manhandled elders and pastor G T Benjamin (75) apart from detaining three others.
"Police entered the church with shoes on and terrified the pastors," John Stuart alleged. He said police should not interfere in the matters of church.
On June 8, the pastors of the church alleged, police took charge of the entire service proceedings and ensured that F C S Peter, retired Chikkadpally assistant commissioner of police (ACP) K Lakshmi Naik, however, denied the allegations that police had entered the church.

He said police personnel had been posted near two gates of the church to prevent any, roads and buildings department, and presently director-general, National Academy of Construction, preached from the pulpit.
Peter is said to be a relative of chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.

The Times of India, 15 June 2008