KOCHI: With the attack on nuns in Uttar Pradesh’s Jhansi triggering an outrage across the country, the BJP rushed to control damage on Wednesday. The incident came as a major setback for the BJP in poll-bound Kerala as it threatened to spoil the efforts made by the party to win the support of the Christian community. Gauging public resentment, Home Minister Amit Shah, who was on a campaign trail in Kerala, promised that stringent action would be taken against the culprits.
The nuns were heckled by a group of Bajrang Dal workers alleging forced conversion and were detained briefly by the Railway police on Friday. Participating in the election convention of BJP candidate Alphons Kannanthanam in Kanjirappilly, Shah said: “Alphons Kannanthanam has expressed concern over the Jhansi incident. The BJP is ruling Uttar Pradesh and I assure you that the people who attacked the nuns will be brought before law and there should not be any doubt on it.” CM Pinarayi Vijayan shot off a letter to Shah seeking strict action against the culprits who harassed the nuns.
“Such incidents will tarnish the image of the nation and its ancient tradition of religious tolerance,” he said. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala also condemned the incident and wrote to the prime minister demanding action against the people who attacked the nuns. “The incident points to the threat faced by minorities under BJP rule. It amounts to denial of fundamental rights. No body should be allowed to destroy the communal harmony and secular fabric of the nation, he said. BJP state general secretary George Kurian wrote letters to Shah and Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath.