A screenshot shows the police briefly detaining the four nuns at Jhansi railway station (Image credit: Sabrang India)

Kerala CM, Congress flay harassment of nuns on train in Uttar Pradesh

The harassment and detention of two Christian nuns and two other undergoing training, allegedly by the activists of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the students’ wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party, at Jhansi railway station on March 19 has created a storm in poll-bound Kerala with chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan asking the Centre to bring to book all those involved in this incident. The leader of opposition in Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala of Congress also condemned the incident.

Home minister Amit Shah, who is in Kerala to campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party, assured action against all those involved.

The nuns and the two girls, aged 19, boarded the Utkal Express at Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station in Delhi and were on way to Rourkela in Odisha.

According to the police the ABVP members were coming from Rishikesh from a training camp. They reportedly got involved with the nuns on the issue of conversion of the two girls. They then sought the help of police. At Jhansi railway station Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel entered the coach and took the four off the train.

The four were detained at Jhansi and allowed to resume journey by another train only after inquiry by the railway officials, who found no evidence of conversion.

The railway police found baptism certificate of the two girls of 2003 and thus the charge of their conversion turned out to be false. This issue was raised by the Kerala chief minister on March 24 only after a video in this regard went viral.

Though the nuns were on way to Odisha, one of them was originally from Kerala. The two trainees were, however, from Odisha. The nuns were identified as Hemlata and Libiya Thomas.   

Vijayan raised the issue on the plea that incidents like this would mar the image of the country. But the political motive cannot be ruled out as about one-fifth of Kerala voters are Christians.

Meanwhile, the Kerala Catholic Bishop Council expressed concern over the matter. The two nuns belonged to Sacred Heart Congregation.

Leave a Reply

Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124