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Kerala police arrest Pentecostal pastor

Clergyman held on blackmail, defamation charges

Kerala police arrest Pentecostal pastor
ucanews.com reporter, Thiruvananthapuram
India

February 11, 2011

Police in Kerala have charged a Pentecostal pastor for alleged blackmail and defamation. Pastor T.S. Balan was arrested for publishing an article in an online magazine which allegedly defamed a couple and for demanding 1 million rupees (US$22,220) from them, Anil George, a police official, told ucanews.com today. The 67-year-old pastor and his son Aneesh later visited the couple and demanded the money for not publishing more articles about them, George said. The pastor and his son published the original article in The Defender, an online magazine they edit on December 16. Police arrested the pastor after the couple filed a complaint, George said. He said police are still searching for the pastor’s son. The same pair became the first people to be convicted of a “cybercrime” in Kerala, southern India, in 2006 when a court sentenced them to seven years and fined them 35,000 rupees each for defaming another pastor. The 67-year-old pastor and son visited the couple and demanded the money for not publishing more articles about them. Related report Arrested pastors released on bail IB13252.1640

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