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Catholic nun detained in Madhya Pradesh 

Matters India Reporter

Bhopal: A Catholic nun and four girls accompanying her were on June 13 forced out of a train in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

Government Railway Police detained them at Satna station in the state after right wing Hindu groups accused Sister Bina Joseph of indulging in illegal religious conversion.

The group was traveling on Shipra Express to Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh capital, from the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand.

“As our train reached the station, police personnel forced us out and then detained saying the girls were being taken for religious conversion,” Sister Joseph told Matters India over phone from police station.

The nun and the girls were held up in the police station at the time of filing this report at 11:40 pm on June 13 almost 12-hours after their detention. The police personnel also recorded their statements before a Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) who reportedly ordered their release.

Confirming their detention, Satna GRP Police station in-charge S R Bagri told media persons, “The police personnel carried out a search in the Shipra Express in which they were travelling following complaint from Bajrang Dal activists.”

Even though, the officers could not find any credible evidence to prove the charge in the preliminary probe, they maintained that “one of the girls is a minor” and a police party would be sent to their home town to verify their credentials.

The Carmelite Sisters of St Teresa (CSST) nun, however, maintained, “all the girls are major and above 20-years.”

GRP officials also maintained that they have not registered a case yet and were verifying the facts.

Meanwhile the spokesperson of the Rashtriya Isai Mahasangh (grand assembly of nationalist Christians) Richard James accused the police personnel of harassing innocent Christians at the behest of fanatic Hindu group activists.

“Now it has become a sort of fashion that Hindu group activists lodge fake complaints and the police without verifying the facts either detain or arrest innocent Christians and make their life miserable,” he told Matters India.

“We are keeping a watch on the development and still not clear why they were not released even after 12 hours,” James lamented.

This was the third such incident in less than one month in Madhya Pradesh, a state ruled by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party.

On May 21, police detained 60 tribal children from Jhabua district in Madhya Pradesh going to Nagpur for a summer camp at Ratlam railway station following a fake complaint of religious conversion from right wing activists and registered a case against nine Christians who accompanied them. They were released later after their parents denied the allegation.

A day later, local police stopped 11 tribal children from Alirajpur district who were also on their way to the Nagpur camp and arrested two persons guiding them.

The two were later sent to jail, after a case was registered under relevant sections of MP Freedom of Religion Act and Indian Penal Code.

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12 Responses to Catholic nun detained in Madhya Pradesh

  1. Dr.Fr.Shaji,E

    It is a harassment against Christians, especially Catholic Church. Keeping more than 12 hours in police custody, the GRP was violating human rights. The police who keep the person, a nun, without verifying the Real cause, should be taken for a task by the women commission of the State.

     
  2. Fr.Joseph Anithottam

    This only shows the one sided attitude of the Hindutva and their govt. at the centre. The govt at the centre and in the states ruled by the BJP are prejudiced in their way not to register a case when a minority member lodges a complaint of atrocity against them and unlawfully detain and book cases against the christians without any reason and cause. The christians served the country through their educational, health, technical and other professional institutions the people of the country irrespective of caste and creed. Today they are reaping the price for their dedicated service. It is high time that we realise what is happening in the country. The hierarchy has no time to look into all this. They go after Amit Shaw We need stalwarts like late Archbishop of Bubaneswar Cheenath. The present hierarchy in general are cowards. All are worried not about their responsibility but mundane things.

     
  3. F. M. Britto

    The Hindu activists consider they can do anything since the center and the state are ruled by the pro-Hindu party. The Church, along with other right-minded people, need to publicly protest against this trend. Yet we also need to be prudent.

     
  4. Sonica

    Don’t understand what Modi sarkar is doing… Only enjoying with our money… there is no safety for Christians… Shame on BJP…

     
  5. Vincent Bagul

    Bajrang Dal lodged a complaint that the nun was trying to convert the four girls and hence they forced out of the train and detained for enquiry by the Police. The question as to which religion the four girls belonged should be answered first. If these girls were Christians, there was no question of converting them. If these girls were non-Christians, then the nun should answer why she was moving around with them. It is my thinking that once you take a vow and become a nun or a priest, you are expected to serve your own community. Would Bishops like, if saffron clad Hindu Sandhu or Muslim Maulavi freely mingle with Christian youth and take them places with them in the name of ‘serving the poor’. The nuns and priests should should serve the Christian community and keep off from the people of other faith.

     
  6. sheela Sebastian

    Prayer is the need of the hour and we must react in a right way.

     
  7. Raphael D'Souza

    Indeed Fr. Kuruvilla

     
  8. Fr.Tomy Kuruvilla

    Persecution has been part and parcel of Christianity and it has only made us strong.

     
  9. chhotebhai

    Christians in India need to tighten their seat belts. things are going from bad to worse.Don’t expect anything better from the BJP and its cohorts

     
  10. silverius/felicia fernandes

    how do u off load bona-fide women passengers travelling in reserved bogey I presume and detain ladies after 7 PM in police stn at sauna. it is against the railway rules

     
  11. A. S. Mathew

    Under the RSS rule, the jobless BD.-VHP-RSS and the rest will be creating terror to the defenseless Christian community of India. We have not seen the real picture yet to appear if GOD is not interfering with this grave crisis faced with the nation.

    PM Modi will be getting some hard questions in his visit to the U.S. shortly: the great messenger of peace and tolerance in India. When the issues of Dalit and minority persecutions are faced with, the aachi din prophet will not utter a word of warning to the tormentors due to his fear of the tormenting comrades of his party and sister parties; but will say ” torment me instead of tormenting them”. What a gracious practical warning and response touching the serious subject of Christian persecution now spreading in India?

     
  12. Dr Roy Chwdhury

    From the incidents it looks like that the GRPF personnel are more eager to take orders from Bajrang Dal bosses than hapless victims.

     
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