Members of the Hindu Munnani staged a protest in front of the Podanur police station here on Sunday condemning the arrest of a local functionary for alleged assault on Christian preachers on Saturday.
The protesters alleged that the police were supporting religious conversion. They wanted the case that was registered against its functionary P. Uthaman (31) withdrawn.
The alleged incident happened on Nanjundapuram Road around 6.30 p.m. on Saturday. Thoothukudi native Spendi Labersan (33) belonging to a Christian ministry and his friends Rajasekar and Selvam had come to the city to visit the former’s relative at Golden Nagar near Nanjundapuram.
Mr. Labersan in his complaint alleged that Uthaman, a resident of Nanjundapuram, waylaid them when they were heading to Golden Nagar and assaulted them. The police arrested Uthaman for offences under Sections 294 (b) (obscene acts and songs), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint) and 506 (1)(criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code based on the complaint.
Hindu Munnani workers who thronged in front of the police station alleged that Uthaman merely questioned Labersan and his friends when they were preaching in a public place with the intention for religious conversion.