NEW DELHI: The BJP's Kerala unit on Tuesday sought an inquiry into the recent incident in Jhansi in which four nuns, including two postulants, were attacked by Bajrang Dal members while they were travelling by train to their homes at Rourkela in Odisha.
Condemning the incident, Kerala BJP general secretary George Kurian wrote a letter to party colleague and Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath seeking an inquiry into the matter and demanding punishment for the "overzealous individuals", including police personnel who harassed the nuns.
"It is learnt that four nuns belonging to the Sacred Heart Congregation of Delhi Province who were on their way to Odisha from Delhi on train had to face some harrowing time due to the action of some overzealous individuals and police," Kurian's letter stated.
Kurian, who is also former vice-chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities described the ordeal of the nuns in detail but he did not name Bajrang Dal in his letter. "Although they were bonafide religious people, as they were not indulging in any proselytizing activity, they had to alight at Jhansi for questioning by the police. May I request your good offices to kindly order an inquiry and punish those who are responsible for such harassment of nuns," said Kurian.
The postulants, who had joined the Sacred Hearts Congregation of the Delhi Province recently, were travelling for the first time to their homes. The postulants were accompanied by two nuns of their Order.
Bajrang Dal workers, who had boarded the train from Rishikesh, created a ruckus on the train after seeing the postulants with nuns in their religious habits alleging that they were being taken for religious conversion. Following this, the workers approached the railway police and misinformed the authorities that the nuns were taking the postulants for forcible religious conversion, following which they were taken into custody.
The nuns were rescued after senior police officials intervened. On Monday, the Syro-Malabar Church of Kerala had also condemned the incident and said they suspected this to be a a premeditated attack, considering that around 150 Bajrang Dal activists had assembled at the railway station at short notice.