After severe online backlash over inappropriate behaviour by two of its preachers towards minors, Scripture Union, a Christian organisation that propagates the Bible, has filed a complaint with the Chennai police. The complaint is against Samuel Jaisunder who is currently the Secretary of the organisation's English department.
SU had earlier claimed to TNM that they learnt of the preachers' inappropriate behaviour only over the weekend after Twitter user @joelgiftson17 posted a thread. However, the complaint to the Chennai Commissioner shows that the father of a 19-year-old had approached the organisation as early as August this year, alleging that Samuel Jaisunder had sent his daughter unacceptable text messages on social media.
In the complaint sent by National Director Joshua Kirubaraj on Tuesday, the organisation has stated, "On 4th August 2020, one **** aged about 19 years had called our staff Mr. Albert on his mobile phone and asked for contact details of the head of the Scripture Union & Children Special Service Mission Council of India and the next day we had spoken to the girl and also her father. We found out that our staff Mr.Samuel Jaisunder had indulged in sending inappropriate text messages on social media to the said **** and that both of them have been chatting with each other for some time and in pursuance to the oral complaint received from **** and her father we had restrained Mr.Samuel from visiting schools and also to refrain from interaction with school children."
However the complaint does not denote that an inquiry was initiated in August into the complaint and neither was the preacher suspended for his behaviour. Infact speaking to TNM on Monday, SU admitted to not even having an Internal Complaints Committee in place.
Allegations against another staff member Reuben Clement has only emerged now, says their complaint letter, after screenshots of his conversations with minors was put out on Twitter.
"Subsequently upon enquiry we found that it was most unbecoming of our employees to have indulged in sending inappropriate text messages on social media to girl students and have tarnished the image of our organisation due to the above delinquencies during their employment with us," said the complaint letter. "We have suspended both Mr.Samuel Jaisunder and Mr.Reuben Clement from their services with the Scripture Union and we called upon them to respond to the various allegations made against them. We hereby report these incidents for your information and appropriate action," it states.
TNM has reached out to the Chennai police commissioner Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal to enquire if an FIR has been filed.