Nuns attacked in UP: Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan has written to Home Minister Amit Shah urging intervention in the case of four nuns being attacked and harassed by Bajrang Dal activists earlier this week in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. Writing that “such incidents tarnish the image of the nation and its ancient tradition of religious tolerance,” Vijayan asked Shah to take strict action against those “disrupting freedom of individual rights.”
Shah has responded saying that those involved in the harassment case will be brought before the law.
As per reports, four nuns, including two postulants (candidates seeking nunhood) under the Syro-Malabar Church in Kerala, were travelling from New Delhi to Odisha by train on March 19. As the train pulled into Jhansi, a group of Bajrang Dal activists “harassed” the nuns alleging they were taking the girl postulants for forced conversion.
The passengers were deboarded, detained and questioned by Jhansi police, commencing their journey on March 21 with railway protection. The two postulants were travelling home, accompanied by nuns of their order.
Nuns Attacked In UP: Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala Church Condemns
The incident comes to light in the run-up to Kerala legislative assembly election, with Vijayan’s ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Modi-Shah’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) battling for the turf. In his letter to the HM, Vijayan writes, “Such incidents require utmost condemnation by the Union Government.”
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan writes to Home Minister Amit Shah on alleged harassment of nuns in Uttar Pradesh pic.twitter.com/JU4UXujqHV
— ANI (@ANI) March 24, 2021
The Syro-Malabar Church has also issued a statement, condemning the attack on the nuns and alleging the incident was premeditated given how over 100 Bajrang Dal activists gathered at the station in a short span of time.
In another statement, the Kerala Catholic Bishop’s Council has said, “Despite confirming that the allegations were false after checking the ID cards and documents provided by the nuns, the police took them into custody without the presence of women police officers. They forced the nuns to alight at a station not familiar to them at night and insulted them.”
Here is the incident caught on video:
…. This video is from inside the compartment of the Haridwar – Puri Utkal express last friday . Notice how the women are surrounded including by men in uniform … also listen to what is being said . Eventually the women were made to deboard …. pic.twitter.com/Cy11YXpmOb
— Alok Pandey (@alok_pandey) March 24, 2021