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New Zealand denies asylum to Indian evangelist; to deport him

PTI
Published Nov 24, 2016, 6:35 pm IST
Updated Nov 24, 2016, 6:35 pm IST
The Christian evangelist, identified only by his initials BD, was arrested and imprisoned in 2012 for overstaying his visa in New Zealand.
The man, in his 40s, will be deported from New Zealand despite claiming Hindu extremists in his homeland were threatening to kill him, stuff.co.nz reported. (Photo: Pixabay)
 The man, in his 40s, will be deported from New Zealand despite claiming Hindu extremists in his homeland were threatening to kill him, stuff.co.nz reported. (Photo: Pixabay)

Melbourne: An Indian evangelist who claimed that "Hindu extremists" in India were threatening to kill him would be deported by New Zealand which has twice rejected his asylum plea, a media report said on Thursday.

The Christian evangelist, identified only by his initials BD, was arrested and imprisoned in 2012 for overstaying his visa in New Zealand.

 

He has been fighting his deportation order on humanitarian grounds ever since and his first claim for refugee status was rejected by the Immigration and Protection Tribunal in 2015.

The man, in his 40s, will be deported from New Zealand despite claiming Hindu extremists in his homeland were threatening to kill him, stuff.co.nz reported.

However, he made a subsequent claim on the basis that a stint in jail had strengthened his Christian faith so much that the preaching he would be compelled to do when back in India would put his life in danger, it said.

 

In a decision released this week, Justice Peters said the man had initially been rejected as a refugee because his risk of danger would be low if he returned to India.

Justice Peters noted "whether or not (the man's) faith has intensified" did not increase his risk of attack, because he was already a well-known evangeliser.

The judgement stemmed from the fact that BD had already "completed many years of work as a religious worker and undertaken paid work as an evangelist in India".

Hindu and Christian leaders in Auckland's Indian community, however, labelled BD's religious claims a "baseless" excuse to remain in the country.

 

Ilamgo Krishna Moorthy, the president of the New Zealand Hindu Temple Association, said "a lot of evangelists" visited India regularly and the man would not be stopped.

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