Indian Church condemns the assault of a Nun in Raipur

2015-06-23 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India is deeply distressed to learn of the sad news of a nun of 47 years, belonging to the Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate being brutally attacked and molested by unknown criminals on Friday night (19thJune, 2015) at KristSahaya Kendra, a nursing Centre run by the same sisters at Mowa Police Station area in Raipur city.

The nun, a qualified nurse was in the Nursing Home together with two other girls. She was found early morning, gagged and tied to the bed after being brutally attacked and molested. The police were immediately informed and they rushed the nun to the nearest government hospital.

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India views these attacks on the nuns very seriously and urges the Government of Chhattisgarh and the Central Government to act speedily to book the culprits involved in this heinous crime and to provide adequate security and protection to the Christian Missionaries whose selfless service to the poor has been widely acclaimed by the Indian public in general. Such incidents of violence on minorities and especially women, tarnishes the image of our country in the international community, besides posing serious questions as to how far the minorities are safe and secure today in India.

Msgr. Theodore Mascarenhas, auxiliary bishop of Ranchi (Jharkhand), told AsiaNews: "This is not just a crime against a Christian nun. It is a crime against the very dignity of women of India. It shows a complete lack of respect for our mothers, sisters and daughters. More importantly these events trouble us as citizens of a great nation traditionally known for its religious tolerance ".

The prelate, a former official of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said: "I am so sad that India' s image is tarnished the world over on account of these unchecked crimes. One can only wonder where the promised good governance has disappeared as the Government looks increasingly helpless or even insensitive. For its own sake it is time that the Government gets up from its sleep or its indifference. We want protection for everyone who is vulnerable in our country. We do not want to hear again that these are deeds of petty criminals. And if it is so, a government that cannot stop these petty criminals from committing these terrible crimes is itself petty".

“It should be seen as part of the ongoing attacks on religious minorities," said Father Sebastian Poomattathil, vicar general of Raipur archdiocese. "It is targeted. They came prepared and did not disturb the other two women in the building," he said.

Fr Poomattathil said local parishioners held a public protest on Saturday and Sunday, with more than 3,000 people attending Sunday's rally in the city. The leaders have also submitted a memorandum demanding the arrest of the perpetrators within 72 hours.

"If they fail to arrest the culprits soon, we will intensify the agitation and spread it across all parts of the state," he added.

The attack comes three months after a 71-year old nun was gang-raped near eastern Kolkata city. Police arrested migrant Bangladeshis but Church leaders suspect they are scapegoats and that Hindu hardliners are behind the attack.

(CBCI, AsiaNews, UCAN)


(from Vatican Radio)