On Sunday (August 1), a clash broke out between the supporters of two pastors at the Andhra Evangelical Luffieran Church (AELC) in Guntur in Andhra Pradesh.
As per reports, the two pastors have been identified as Elia and Paradeshi Babu. The duo had been eyeing the post of Bishop at the AELC. However, their ardent supporters had been fighting amongst themselves. On Sunday, the two groups had a heated argument, following which they resorted to physical violence. Besides exchanging blows, the supporters of the two pastors also flung chairs at each other. On receiving information, the police rushed to the spot to pacify the situation.
With the patronage of Paradeshi Babu, pastor Devasahayam had been leading the prayers at the Church. However, Elia and his supporters formed an ad-hoc committee and ensured that the Sunday prayers were led by one Bujji Babu, Krian Babu, and Mohan Babu. This became the bone of contention between the two groups.
The group led by Paradeshi Babu questioned the need to bring ‘outsiders’ to conduct prayers when pastor Devasahayam was already in charge. The Elia group then accused the pastor of corrupt practices and justified the formation of an ad-hoc committee to probe the matter. A video of the confrontation has now surfaced on social media.
This is not the first time that a clash took place between the two groups. Earlier in January this year, a case was registered at the Arundelpet police station against the Elia group for trespassing into the compound of Paradesi Babu and forcibly entering his office. Elia had declared that the tenure of Babu was over and that he was the new Bishop of the Andhra Evangelical Luffieran Church.
The group led by Elia sought the support of the Andhra Pradesh Home Minister while Paradesi Babu emphasised that his tenure would remain until May 2021. Elia had accused Babu of tampering with the election results that took place in March this year.