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‘Jesus Will Protect Us’: Meghalaya’s cult leader influences followers to not get jabbed; hinders vaccination drive in many remote villages

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A cult leader, Pastor Phawa in Meghalaya, who convinced his supporters has come in the way of the COVID-19 vaccination drive with his followers rejecting the need for taking Covid jabs, senior district officials informed.

The officials said on condition of anonymity that the cult leader had influenced people to go against government schemes for vaccination in remote villages of Khasi Jaintia Hills region, comprising seven districts that results low Covid vaccination in those areas.

The cult leader with his followers has gone into hiding since 2018 as he was under the radar of the state government during the 2018 assembly elections as many people reportedly abstained from voting because of his influence, Christian-dominated said.

“I am not going to get myself vaccinated. Jesus will cure and protect us from all sickness,” Juliana, one of his followers at Jongksha Wahshnong village, told PTI.

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