Published on: 17 October 2017
Sandeep Kumar, 18, christened Karan Anthony, was arrested Aug. 23, and released on bail after 12 days, for posting anti-Hindu comments on a Facebook page he denies creating.
Anthony is an agricultural sciences student at the University of Allahabad. According to a Morning Star News report, Anthony was arrested when Hindu extremist filed complaints with the police at Kasganj District where he was arrested when visiting his hometown.
“I did not make any posts on Facebook,” Anthony said. “It was my good friend who falsely framed me by joining hands with Rudra Sena activists.”
A former friend and classmate of Anthony’s, Sathin Gaur, was the chief complainant.
Anthony had deactivated his Facebook when he started receiving abusive comments.
“Whenever I posted something about Jesus, my friend Sathin and other classmates started sending abusive comments,” he said. “They were expressing hatred in vulgar language, and I did not like it. I deactivated Facebook immediately and never logged in after that incident.”
Anthony was charged with several violations, “promoting enmity between classes,” “publishing or transmitting obscene material” and “accessing a computer without the permission of the owner and doing so dishonestly or fraudulently. If convicted he could face up to nine years in prison.
Anthony said he has long been a target of his Hindu friends because they know his father is a pastor. He had lost contact with his old high school friends after beginning university. He told the police he discovered a fake Facebook account had been set up with his name and photo.
“Somebody was using this account to post abusive, anti-Hindu content. I was not at all aware about the fake Facebook account. I was only focusing on my studies, and we have worship services on the campus also every morning and evening, so I was spending most of my time with Christian friends here and never felt the need to open a social media account,” he told police.
When he was arrested he did not receive anything to eat the first two days, Anthony said.
“I knelt down and prayed a day after I was presented before the court,” he said. “When I was in jail, every day I was spending time in prayer; the other prisoners did not understand what was going on, they asked me many questions like, ‘What is this you are doing, why are you knelt, what are you murmuring?’ It was an opportunity the Lord had given me to share the gospel with them.”
The other inmates were happy to hear about Christ, he said, and they discussed Jesus daily.
“I felt so light, like all my burdens vanished at once,” he said. “I even invited them to our church in Patiali town, Kasganj.”
After 12 days in jail Anthony became weak and ill from malaria and typhoid.
“I am praying every day for Sathin and the other complainants,” he says. “I have forgiven them. I want Sathin to recognize the Lord’s love. Through all these hardships, the Lord is with me, and I want them to see this.” Anthony says.