‘Hurt by growing mistrust', says Odisha novice who was detrained along with nuns in Jhansi

The 18-year-old postulant continues to remain upset over the unpleasant event even if she tries to spend time with her family in the Sundargarh district.

Published: 26th March 2021 03:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th March 2021 04:50 PM   |  A+A-


Representational Image. (File Photo)

Express News Service

ROURKELA: She is yet to come to terms days after her harassment by some Saffron activists during a train journey.

The 18-year-old postulant continues to remain upset over the unpleasant event even if she tries to spend time with her family at the remote Goilo village under Lathikata block in Sundargarh district.

"The incident has hurt my sentiment and I am upset at the mistrust growing among people. Though I repeatedly explained to the activists that there was no forced conversion involved, yet they did not believe and forced us to get down from the train. I am trying to forget it," she said.

The postulant was among four girls, including two nuns, who were allegedly harassed by some Saffron activists near Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh on their way from New Delhi to Rourkela in Utkal Express on March 19.

Along with another of her age from Silpunji village in Sundargarh’s Gurundia block and the two nuns from Kerala, she was forcibly detrained at Jhansi station after the activists misinformed the railway police complaining that the nuns were trying to convert the girls.

ALSO READ | Church condemns attack on nuns by Bajrang Dal in Jhansi

After the incident snowballed into a major controversy forcing Union Home Minister Amit Shah to issue a statement assuring strict action against those responsible for it, her father said he would lodge a complaint at the Brahmani Tarang police station seeking legal action against the activists.

"I am on the way to the police station to lodge a complaint. I would seek immediate action against the people who harassed my daughter, who was taken to the Government Railway Police Station at Jhansi before being released," he told The New Indian Express.

Recalling the day of the incident, he said, he had received a call from an anonymous person inquiring about his daughter and the incident. But the person abruptly disconnected the call leaving him worried, he said.

The family belonged to the minority community and the girl is associated with the Sacred Heart Congregation of Delhi Province since 2018.

Bishop of Catholic Diocese at Rourkela Father Kishore Kujur said he got to know about the incident from national television channels on Wednesday evening as there was neither any complaint from the girls nor the nuns.

However, the two nuns could not be traced as the church authorities believed they might have returned to their state after handing over the girls to their families on Sunday.

Father of Jhorabahal Parish, where the girl's family members visit for prayer and religious rites, Rajesh Kullu said the incident shows growing religious intolerance and an attempt to undermine religious and personal freedom guaranteed in the Constitution.

He said all human beings are equal and respect for different religious faiths is needed for a vibrant society and harmonious living.


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