NATIONAL

Preachers sent to police custody

BARIPADA, OCT. 24. A local court today sent five Christian preachers to police custody till November 4 for their alleged involvement in inciting communal feelings.

They were produced on Friday before the Baripada Sub-divisional Judicial Magistrate who rejected their bail application and sent them to custody till November 4, sources said.

The preachers were arrested on Thursday on charges of ``uttering words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of others and issuing threats or criminal intimidation to several persons.''

Police said the preachers were active around the tribal belt of Suliapada block in Orissa's Mayurbhanj district.

The VHP had earlier sponsored re-conversion ceremonies of the tribal Christian converts into the Hindu fold in Mayurbhanj district.

As people in Suliapada were busy with Durga Puja festivities, Mumbai-based Catholic missionaries led by Karl Silva, a pastor, were reportedly preaching, the sources said. — UNI

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