The Jabalpur High Court has issued notice to the Government of Madhya Pradesh and the National Commission for Protection Of Child Rights (NCPCR) asking for its response to the petition filed by Legal Rights Protection Forum, seeking legal action against a US-based Christian NGO named ‘Persecution Relief’ for defaming India Internationally by falsely imparting communal colour to incidents of murders and suicides.
The court, while hearing a plea filed by the President of Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF)- Ayyalasomayajula Sai Santosh, an NGO working in the field of law, asked the Govt of MP and NCPCR to respond within 6 weeks.
Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF) took to Twitter to inform the same.
Jabalpur HC Bench issued notice to Govt of Madhya Pradesh to respond within 6 weeks on our PIL against anti-National activities of ‘Persecution Relief’, US-based Christian NGO defaming India internationally with false reporting of routine crimes@ShivrajSinghMP @MPDial100 pic.twitter.com/MOroLPi5YL— Legal Rights Protection Forum (@lawinforce) July 16, 2021
The petition filed before the court by Advocate Gautam Jha on behalf of LRPF stated: “That hiding behind the cloaks of the freedom of Speech and Expression guaranteed by Article 19 of the Constitution of India, the ‘Persecution Relief’ which is a US-based Organisation is spreading hatred and communal divide in India and is actively involved in tarnishing the image of India in International Platforms, forums and in front of International Organizations.”
Christian NGO ‘Persecution Relief’ includes many false POCSO cases in its Annual report
It read that on February 3, 2021, the US-based NGO issued its Annual Report alleging ‘persecution of Christians’ in India and to validate the claims it cited incidents of crime in India and shared it with various US-based evangelical organisations. They, however, added a communal twist to the incidents, and labelled Indians as ‘religious fanatics.’
The petition also states that there are many false POCSO cases registered and those falsely accused are still languishing in Jail.
Christian NGO had caused irreparable damage to the prestige and reputation of India: LRPF to MP HC
More importantly, ‘Persecution Relief’ had joined hands with the US-based Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations (FIACONA) and this report, tarnishing the image and reputation of India, was included in the annual US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) report.
The petitioner contended that the statements made and allegations levelled in the contentious Annual Report of NGO against the Indian Government, various State Governments and other institutions in the country, are of an extremely serious nature, unsubstantiated and baseless. Legal Rights Protection Forum wrote in its petition that the Christian NGO had caused irreparable damage to the prestige and reputation of India on the global platform through its contentious report.
Alleging that there is an attempt to spread communal disharmony and disintegrate India, the petitioner has pleaded before the MP High Court to direct a thorough police investigation into the activities of the NGO ‘Persecution Relief’.
The petition also stated that despite several complaints and requests no action has been taken to date either by the Madhya Pradesh police or by any Child Welfare Committees (CWC) against NGO ‘Persecution Relief.
LRPF requested the court to direct police to invoke IPC Sections 124A (Sedition), 295A (acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 505(1)(a) & (b), 505(2), 505(3) of IPC, against the Christian NGO’s chief Shibhu Thomas.
NCPCR to take action against Christian NGO Persecution Relief
Pertinently, on March 6, the Chairman of the National Commission for Protection Of Child Rights (NCPCR), Priyank Kanoongo, informed that the statutory body will take action against the Christian NGO ‘Persecution Relief’ for dishonouring India in the International forums.
Earlier, Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF) had also asked Union Home Minister Amit Shah to crackdown on ‘Persecution Relief’.
LRPF Working President A S Santhosh had emphasised that while the mainstream media and police officials ruled out the communal angle in 8 such incidents covered by Persecution relief, the Christian NGO however alleged ‘religious angle’. The most bizarre example was that of a pastor who died of electrocution in Rajasthan. The case too was dubbed as an example of ‘Christian persecution’, Santhosh said.