Jail Break in Bangalore

by Doug Nichols

When I was serving with Operation Mobilization for two years from 1966-1968, I spent time in Bangalore working with OM future leaders while recovering from tuberculosis and hepatitis.

One afternoon after prayer, we targeted a radical Hindu area in Bangalore to preach the gospel from the back of a lorry (British name for a large truck.)

It was my turn to preach, and while doing so, a man jumped up onto the truck and slugged me very hard in the nose and mouth. I fell backwards, but instinctively gave him a hard kick in the chest which threw him out into the crowd; some of whom were trying to get onto the truck to beat us and burn the truck.

Mercifully, a large group of police (soldiers) arrived just at that time, stopping the riot and arresting me and my ten Indian co-workers.

When the police escorted us to the station, about one hundred of the radical Hindus came with them. My co-workers were left in the truck and I was taken inside to face charges with the chief-of-police. About twenty leaders of the radicals circled around his desk basically screaming for my blood. I had no idea what they were talking about, what the charges were or what was going to happen to us.

As they continued to yell and scream, I backed away from the crowd to another desk where a police officer was sitting. I smiled and said, “Excuse me, sir, would you mind helping me? I have no idea what I am being accused of. We had a public meeting and I was sharing about the gospel of Christ. Is that what I am being charged for?”

He replied, “No, they can’t charge you on that so they are trying to make up something; most likely that you did not have a permit to use a loud speaker.”

I answered, “Oh, a permit. Where do I get a permit?”

The police officer explained and I asked him to write the address on a piece of paper which he proceeded to do.

As he gave me the written directions, I said, “Another thing, sir, I am very thirsty. Do you have a drinking fountain here?”

He replied, “Yes, there is one right outside the door and around the corner in the hallway.”

So, as people continued to yell and scream, I slowly walked around the corner, out of sight, to the drinking fountain. I then noticed the hallway led to the truck which was still surrounded by police and about 100 fanatics.

An idea came to mind, so I walked boldly out the door, smiling and waving the piece of paper and told the team members that it was time to go. Everyone assumed that the paper was my release. I had not said a thing, but simply waved the paper, got in my truck and drove away. As I picked up speed, I looked behind in the rear view mirror and saw all the fanatics and police running out the door after me.

Needless to say, I did not drive slowly and drove all the way across town (2.5 million people at that time) to the safety of our OM headquarters.

I am not a brave person, but was very concerned about the safety of my ten team workers who would have been treated very badly inside the jail cells.

I guess you can say this was a mass escape and the safely of God’s people to the glory of God!