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Thursday, March 23, 2023

AP: Christian cult’s Pastor booked for sexually exploiting 17 women, using 7 boys as slaves at his premises, ‘The Hindu’ underplays this heinous crime

42-year old pastor was booked for sexually exploiting about 17 women in the past four years, at Payakaraopeta in Visakhapatnam district. He was also involved in forcing boys into slave labor, and fraud and cheating. The incident came to light when one of those women escaped from his clutches and approached the police and lodged a complaint, late on February 3.

Ambati Anil Kumar alias Prema Das, a native of Krishnalanka in Vijayawada, Krishna district, was working as a TTE in the railways, when he resigned from his job, left his family and settled in Payakaraopeta in 2017 to pursue Christian missionary work which he found ‘very lucrative’, reports Telangana Today.

He established a trust named ‘Prema Swaroopi Ministries’ (as per its website it was founded in 2015, archive available here), became Pastor A. Anil Kumar and constructed a two-storied building. He then lured around 17 women from various places in the name of giving Christian religious discourse and lodged them in the ministry premises at Payakaraopeta.

In her complaint, the victim stated that since she and the other women were brought to the ministry the Pastor had been sexually exploiting them for the past four years. The pastor used to threaten them by saying that their family would face dire consequences if they tried to leave the premises. Apart from the women, there were seven boys who have been kept there forcibly and made to work as slaves and were also tortured, she informed the police.

Ministry is an activity carried out by Christians to express or spread their faith, the prototype being the Great Commission – the supposed instruction of the ‘resurrected’ Jesus Christ to his disciples to spread his teachings (gospel) to all the nations of the world. Many believe this task or mission is “conferred on each Christian in baptism.”

The Payakaraopeta police questioned the women in the trust but many did not speak up due to fear of the pastor, and some appeared to be in a trance-like state and unable to give answers. Police also learnt that Pastor A. Anil Kumar had made huge money from many people in the name of God.

He had launched a YouTube channel and claimed to conduct online Christian prayers for the suffering, unemployed, and patients. People fell for his suave talk and parted with lakhs of rupees on his promise of getting jobs, and remedies for ills.

Additional SP, Narsipatnam, D Manikanta inspected the ministry premised and said that the police were enquiring. Payakaraopeta Police have registered cases under relevant sections and the he complainant was sent to Anakapalle hospital for medical tests.

As per a Telangana Today report dated February 5, four persons have been arrested in connection with this case. It is not clear if Pastor A. Anil Kumar is one of those arrested. It is alleged that the accused Pastor was living with a woman, Rajeswari aka Lilly from East Godavari district, who was also a partner to his crimes. Police are searching for Rajeswari too.

Police sealed the ministries’ building and sent home eight of the 30 inmates –men and women, by two special buses while about 20 of them had refused to leave the place.

Another report mentions that the woman complainant was a B Tech graduate and working in a private company when she was brainwashed by Pastor Anil Kumar into leaving everything and staying at his ministry building that was worth Rs 2 crore. He preached that God would remove those in distress through prayers if they contacted his number – once people started trusting him, he would order them to make donations that poured in not only from  Andhra Pradesh and Telangana but also from the US and Australia (we did not find any FCRA returns for ‘Prema Swaroopi Ministries’ on the MHA site). It is said that inmates of the house lost their sense of self and even forgot their parents and family, so strong was the Pastor’s mental hold over them. The report adds that the case against the Pastor has been registered under IPC Sections 376, 344, 354, 506, 493, 374, 312, SC/ST Atrocities Act.

Accused Pastor Ambati Anil Kumar (Image Source: thenewsglory.com)

Such Christian cults by self-styled messiahs/Pastors are mushrooming all over Bharat – this case has striking similarity to the Moses Ministries saga from TN, and the dubious operations of ‘Apostle’ Ankur Narula in Punjab. The mainstream Churches in Bharat – both Catholic and Protestant – know what is going on in these cults, but they stay quiet and even abet such predatory operators because ultimately the shared goal is ‘soul harvesting’ and fulfilling the ‘Great Commission’. The greater the number of converts, the more socio-political accrues to the Church hierarchy which itself shields predators like Franco Mulakkal and Robin Vadakkumchery.

The sheer volume of sexual abuse in such Christian institutions and Islamic madrassas is brushed under the carpet by our elites and media, including entertainment media. While movies like OMG – Oh My God! and web series like Ashram smear Hindu sadhus, guru and religious institutions as dens of crime and bigotry, none will show the true picture of Abrahamic Godmen and religious institutions, either because they fear the consequences or because of their hatred for Hindus.

The Hindu plays games

The Hindu markets itself as the paper for the thinking person, as the opposite of its leading competitor, the ‘sensationalist and commercialized’ Times of India. But the reality is that both papers reflect the same left-liberal bias and soft-Hinduphobia that afflicts almost our entire English-language media (ELM).

In it’s headline for the article related to this case, The Hindu article has put quotes around the term ‘sexually exploiting’. Now, such quotes (also known as ‘scare/sneer quotes‘) are a journalistic practice to imply skepticism or disagreement, belief that the words are misused. So The Hindu wants readers to think that the ‘sexual exploitation’ charge is dodgy or unsubstantiated.

Ok, so let’s be charitable and grant The Hindu the benefit of doubt. As report of the complainant’s medical examination has not come and since many of the other women are in shock and have not corroborated her complaint, the charge against the Pastor is not yet proven. But then, why doesn’t The Hindu apply the same standard on other cases where sexual exploitation is alleged? A simple Google search reveals many other headlines where the newspaper had no problem reporting a sexual exploitation charge without use of scare quotes and before the accused is convicted.

So why why is The Hindu casting doubt on this serious crime? To answer this, we must ask ourselves what is unique about this crime as compared to the other similar crimes that The Hindu reported on. This is the distinguishing factor: the main accused is a Christian Pastor. Hence, the conclusion is unavoidable: The Hindu doesn’t want people to believe that the Pastor actually committed this heinous crime. This implies they have a clear pro-Christian tilt, or to be more precise an anti-Hindu tilt.

This is the web of half-truth and deceit that our ELM spins around us each day – in the framing of their headlines, in deciding what stories to push to the front pages and which ones inside, in the time & effort devoted to continuous coverage of selected stories.

But the biggest lie of The Hindu is in it’s name itself – this newspaper run by a man who was once a card-carrying Communist is anything but representative of the Hindu point of view.

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