Union Home Minister Amit Shah who is in Kerala campaigning for the BJP candidates contesting in the upcoming Assembly polls, on Wednesday said that strong action will be taken against the Bajrang Dal men who attacked nuns from Kerala during a train journey via Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh earlier this month.
Noting that UP was ruled by BJP government, Shah, while addressing a poll rally at Kanjirappally in Kottayam, said, "I want to assure the people of Kerala that the culprits behind this incident will be brought to justice at the earliest".
The issue was raised before Shah by the party's Kanjirappally constituency candidate for Assembly polls, K J Alphonse (Alphone Kannanthanam), who is Shahâ€™s former ministerial colleague in the Union cabinet. Notably, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday morning tweeted a copy of a letter that he sent to the Home Minister demanding action against the Bajrang Dal men.
The incident pertains to the harassment of two nuns and two postulants belonging to the Sacred Heart Convent under the Kerala-based Syro-Malabar Church by Bajrang Dal men who accused the nuns of forcefully converting the postulants to Christianity, on March 19. The four women were taken off the express train and detained for questioning by Railway Police in UP's Jhansi, after the men raised the allegation. Though the nuns and the postulants had shown their identity proofs, they were detained on allegations that their IDs were fake.
The Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) had expressed concern over the matter. The Congress and CPII(M) had reacted strongly against the incident. BJP also took up the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, reports PTI.
Officials in Jhansi said the nuns were detained after local Bajrang Dal activists complained that two of the women were allegedly taken forcibly for religious conversion. The police said there was no basis in the complaint and all four women later took the next train to their destination in Odisha.
In his letter to Amit Shah, Pinarayi Vijayan had urged that the Union government should condemn the incident which tarnishes the image of religious harmony of the nation. He had also urged Amit Shah to intervene in the matter and to take adequate action against the culprits.