When teenager converted to be John Douglas
It was a chilly evening of January 2011. 16-year-old Imran (name changed) was walking down his colony lane, all alone, pensive, in this summer Capital. His was a typical scene of jilted teenage lover, whose affair with the girl of his age ended after three years of romance –mostly on mobile phone and Facebook –as the duo reached their class 10th.
Suddenly a friend of his appeared at the site and broke the lull by asking reasons for being gloomy. Imran couldn’t hide but spoke his heart out. His friend responded with a joyful remedy by offering him a phone number of a “pretty girl who loves spending time chatting with boys”. But there was a precondition that she attends call only in the night hours.
CALL OF HOPE
The number brought a new hope in the life of this lover-boy, mostly alone at his home, as his mother has passed away around a decade back while father is often out for business tours.
Imran was so tempted on getting the contact number that he straight rang her up that very moment. But the voice at the other end had the plea. “I am busy with my parents. Will call you later,” the sweet voice revealed and dropped the phone.
Imran kept waiting for the call. At around midnight the phone tinkled. At was she speaking prettily. The duo kept talking for over an hour till they realized that they could be friends.
The very next day, their date realized at a mall in this Himalayan region City. While Imran had hired an auto to reach the venue, the girl had come in her sedan.
Finding his new girlfriend driving car, inferiority complex hit the boy who hails from a middle-class family and he did what’s mostly typical of Bollywood flick. “I faked to have left my car at a workshop for some repairs,” he quips.
The couple kept dating for a few days till finally the girl invited him for a party at a hotel. Excited, the 10th standard lover reached the venue well in time.
The girl had booked a room there. But to his surprise there were no other guests. The charming face opened her purse to take out two small red Vodka bottles and offered one to him, he says.
“Though I hesitated because of not having touched liquor all my life, as she insisted I started boozing with her,” Imran recaps. This date ended with the booze.
The next day, he received a call from the girl. But unlike the past, this time there was a shock. “She threatened me to come to the hotel at once or else my video of boozing will be uploaded on the Facebook… Scared, I rushed there only to find that she had really captured my video and was waiting to click the upload button on the laptop screen,” Imran recaps.
“I stopped her saying what she wanted,” he recaps adding she demanded to share physical intimacy with him.
“If you want to delete your video, have Vodka and listen to me…,” she told him. Imran says he had to meet her demands to get the video deleted. The tech-savvy, boy didn’t take any risks by deleting the video alone. Instead he formatted the hard disk meaning that entire data was lost.
But this date made him “confident” that he could have multiple girlfriends, he confides. And this confidence worked. “I started flirting with many girls apart from her.”
“But as girlfriends come at a heavy cost, I started running short of money,” says the boy.
NEED FOR MONEY
One Saturday Imran says he needed Rs 1,500 to date a girl. His father was away and so he banked on his friend, the guy who had given him the “pretty girl’s number.”
The friend, however, pleaded pocket money constraints. But after a few minutes, Imran received a call from the girl whose phone number his friend had offered. The seductress had a surprising revelation for the boy in need.
“Apart from offering to pay Rs 1,500, she said if I go to church, I’ll get lots of money,” he recaps. Imran says he refused the second option pleading how would it be possible for him to go there?
“Don’t worry I’ll take you there,” she said. The very next day, it was a Mass at a Church and she took him there.
This was where Imran says he was introduced to Father Chander Manni Khanna aka Pastor CM Khanna "who asked me to join spiritual classes and took me as his son.” The Pastor, for now is a key accused in the alleged apostasy case and was arrested for some days by police.
The Pastor, Imran says, started calling him to his residence and even introduced him to a girl whom he claimed was his daughter. “She became my girlfriend and we would roam around in Khanna’s car,” he says.
The Pastor, as per the boy, would often invite him for lunch, breakfast or any other meals. “Once they cooked some meat which had been frozen in ice cubes. On finishing the lunch, I was told that it was swine meat,” he says adding he couldn’t think much about the forbidden meat because of being under the influence of liquor.
“Khanna and I would booze together at his home,” Imran alleged.
“Finally they both(Father and daughter) asked me to convert.”
“They even gave me some literature including the New Testaments to read,” Imran says.
After a few weeks, the boy says, he got convinced. On the second Sunday of the bygone Ramazan, Imran says he was baptized along with three other boys adding after that 8, 28,28 and 30 people converted on the coming Sundays, respectively. By now Imran was given a new name: John Douglas.
On the night of Shab-e-Qadr in Ramazan, he says, the Pastor called him to his home for dinner. “After dinner, Khanna and I kept boozing beer till late at night.” Going home wasn’t any problem. “They would offer me their car to drive.”
Besides, the class 11th student says he was given a ATM card with ***(name with held) inscribed in it, and had some 64,000 Rs in the deposits.
“I got two Samsung Galaxy phones. One for myself and other for a new girlfriend, who later ditched me.”
After a few days, Imran’s mother came in his dream rebuking him that “born from womb of a Muslim mother why he wanted to die death of Non –Muslim?” “Her words irritated me and I abused her a lot,” the boy admits adding the next morning he called on the Pastor and revealed the dream before him.
“He told me it was all satanism adding that I should recite Bible at her grave.” Imran says he straight left for the graveyard and recited atleast 15 pages of the book there.
“I was so fascinated towards the religion that I would feel pride carrying the Testaments along even to school.” This was when some of his friends came to know about his conversion.
“They asked me to revert but I didn’t listen to them.”
And then came the Black Sunday. Imran says he was asked to attend a prayers at a place other than church.
“There were candles lit up all around and an empty glass was lying inside. As prayers went on someone brought a jug full of red liquid and poured it into the glass.”
When Imran asked what it was, he was told it was swine blood which they all had to drink.
“For a moment I couldn’t even think of touching but then in no time Khanna took some sips, next I drank it and after that many more including Khanna’s daughter did the same.”
Imran says he became a close aide of the Pastor and would even stay with them.
One day, as per the boy, Khanna’s daughter called him to his home in the afternoon, saying that she had installed a latest operating system on his new laptop.
When I reached there she asked me to distinguish between two videos of schoolchildren on the laptop.
He couldn’t find any difference. “Then she told me that in one of the videos, kids were leaving for Friday Prayers at Masjid while at some other school the children were playing,” he says adding that he was told the “schools which don’t allow kids to offer the congregational Friday Prayers were given financial support.”
In the meantime, Khanna walked in and said: “Your are my son and I’ll send you to California soon.”
Imran says he replied that for that he would have to get a passport. But the boy says the June 2008 Radga played a spoilsport. “The concerned police station had listed me among the stone pelters so I couldn’t get police clearance for the passport.”
When Khanna came to know about the hindrance, he intervened asking “me to get six photographs.” “And the very next week, he showed me my passport adding that I would be leaving for California for further studies on November 15,” Imran says but adding in the same breath that the Pastor didn’t handover his passport to him.
Imran says Khanna was “all powerful”. Two of his close aides(names with held) would carry guns and his daughter told me that “it was all because of the Father’s influence.”
“If you want we can give you AK 47 riffle licensed, she told me!”
Imran says one day he himself saw “Khanna’s influence doing a miracle”.
“I was driving his car under the influence of alcohol and happened to hit a person near Ram Bagh, a police man at once caught hold of my collar. But I asked him to let me make a call or he would have to repent,” the boy says.
Imran made the cop speak to Khanna and the very next moment he was released. “And you won’t believe I learnt that the man I hit was whisked away by police.”
In the meantime, one afternoon, Imran says he was shown small packets containing white powder like substance named “enjoyment packet.”
While others only smelled its quality, the boy says he was asked to taste one. “It was bitter but made me feel on the top of the world and I started consuming it often.”
But somewhere in the hearts of his heart, Imran says one question would often strike his mind.
“Why will a person who treats me like his son make me booze, have illegal relationships and roam around like a freak… Will my own father ever offer me wine, money and sex?” the boy whose health has deteriorated due to frequent boozing and other “illegal acts”, argues.
These queries started to remain in the back of his mind, till a revelation made him think the other way. I came to know from one of the persons that my video of getting baptized was lying in the mobile phone of a cleric.
“This alerted me and I realised they were playing a dirty game with me and planned to teach them a lesson because by now I was feeling that my health had deteriorated as I couldn’t even stand properly.”
He came up with revenge at one of the baptizing ceremonies as the tech-savvy boy carried a spy cam along. The trick worked. He captured the footage, which subsequently leaked on the internet sites leaving the people including civil society members and clerics concerned.
At the Court of Grand Mufti Bashir-Ud –Din, Imran had confronted Khanna when the latter appeared before him for hearing. Initially Khanna, the clerics present at the Court said, had tried to refute the allegations but the moment Imran appeared, the Pastor was shocked and confessed his involvement. Khanna was subsequently arrested by police.
On Thursday while the Supreme Court of Islamic Shariat in Srinagar pronounced the Fatwa, two New Delhi based newspapers issued similar reports about Pastor Khanna and even his wife alleging that the family was involved in luring Muslim youth to Christianity through “unfair means”.
But why did you revert? Some of his friends who knew about his activities had been after him that he should meet some Muslim clerics to know what Islam is. “I knew nothing more than Nimaz and recitation of first five paragraphs of Holy Quran which my mother had made me memorize before she died,” he admits.
Imran says luckily he happened to meet a senior cleric and founder of a Darul Uloom who looked at him with a smiling face.
“Son I have no burgers or pastries to offer other than this Chachwaru(local bread) and he subsequently told me about the basics of Islam which made me feel sorry of my deeds,” the boy admits adding that nobody forced him to revert but he did it out of his own.
Your story is exciting like a Bollywood flick? “Please don’t take it as excitement. It should make you worry. What if your own brother was at my place?" he rep lied to this correspondent.
With this Imran goes emotional requesting that “please to add my appeal in the story.”
“I want to inform all my brothers and sisters, kiths and kins, nears and dears that please don’t believe or trust a person who is unknown to you and don’t trust a girl blindly because I faced so much because of a girl and she intrigued me into drug addiction, illegal affairs, boozing and all sinful life,” he confesses.
“And don’t make friendship with someone who shows undue concern because I was misguided by my best friend. I request all parents to check that whether or not their wards attend to schools regularly and what all are their activities including talking on phone.”
THE MISSIONARY IRONY
Whenever news of any conversions pops up in Kashmir, fingers mostly point towards the Christian Missionary run schools. But like many other such cases, Imran was never a missionary school student.
In reality, it’s the missionary schools, which have produced some of the best people in the society. Valley’s head priest Mirwaiz Dr Umar Farooq, who is spearheading the campaign against apostasy, happens to be a Burn Hall alumni. On the other hand Ishfaaq Majeed Wani, one of the pioneers of the militancy and then Commander-in-Chief of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front was a Biscoe Boy while same is true for US trained pilot Nadeem Khateeb who ended up being a militant and was killed in an encounter in Doda area, a few years back much to the shock of his parents who were of the impression their son was working in US after completing his commercial pilot training there.
There are many more in the list of Missionary school alumni like National Conference President and Union Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah, his Chief Minister son Omar Abdullah, former Chairman JK Bank Dr Haseeb Drabu, separatist leader Sajad Gani Lone and of course Masrat Alam, the most wanted man during 2010 Ragda. Daughters of Peoples Democratic Party President, Mehbooba Mufti happen to be Presentation Convent Higher Secondary School (PCHSS)Alumni.
Missionary schools like Tyndale Biscoe School, Burn Hall, PCHSS and Saint Joseph, for around a century, have been known for imparting best of the education as is evident from the versatility in their alumni and interest of almost everyone to get their wards admitted there.
Veteran separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani’s granddaughters study at PCHSS Raj Bagh while same is true for daughter of another senior leader Shabir Shah. Mirwaiz’a close aide, Advocate Shahid Ul Islam who did some interlocution between the Muslim clerics and the Missionary people over the apostasy issue is no exception to it. While Shahid and his siblings too had studied at missionary schools, same is true for his daughters. And he openly admits it.
In the yesteryears prior to eruption of militancy when wives of Army and Air-force officers mostly taught at the missionary schools like the Presentation Convent, these teachers would hold voluntary classes for children of economically backward families, after school hours.
“After school duty these teachers would voluntarily return from their homes in casuals and hold classes for the children of poor families in the school neighbourhood,” recaps a Raj Bagh resident.
Well, coming back to Imran and his reversion. A question on how he managed to capture the baptism video without being caught takes you by surprise. “Could you ascertain when I took your video on my mobile as you interviewed me,” he replies with a smile on his face as he showed this correspondent my interactive video.
“I no more trust any one so easily that’s why I captured you in my phone,” he adds as he slips down the chair due to his deteriorating health. He can’t sit properly and needs to lie down frequently. Medicos say drugs and drinking liquor like a fish have badly affected his health!
Lastupdate on : Thu, 19 Jan 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 19 Jan 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 20 Jan 2012 00:00:00 IST
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