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Pastor Arrested on Fabricated Charges – May 1st 2020

Morning Star News, April 27, 2020

Presbyterian assistant pastor Sarfaraz Raja was preparing to deliver a Good Friday sermon in Pakistan on April 10 when he heard that police had intruded into his house and were harassing his mother and other family members.

“I excused myself from the sermon and immediately rushed to my home with the village headman, Chaudhry Ranjeet Lal, and some other people,” said Pastor Raja.

They found Sub-Inspector Shahbaz Ahmed and five other policemen threatening his mother and family members.

“Instead of explaining the purpose of his raid, SI Shahbaz grabbed my collar and bundled me into their vehicle.”  Police also arrested his uncle, Manzoor Raja, who lives with the family.

Upon reaching the police station, officers took liquor manufacturing equipment from a room and forcibly took the two men’s photographs with it. They then accused them of illegally manufacturing and selling liquor.

He was released on bail the next day. Police falsely arrested him because he has complained about them protecting area criminals, the pastor said.  “Almost all crimes in our villages are backed by the local police,” he said.

He said his involvement and prior complaints of criminal activities had drawn the ire of Shahbaz.

Villagers are standing by ready to vouch for him, and the village headman, Lal, said he supported Pastor Raja.