24 Mar 2021: Amit Shah promises action after nuns are harassed in UP
Union Home Minister Amit Shah today promised strict action against those responsible for the harassment of four nuns belonging to a Kerala-based congregation who were briefly detained from a train in Jhansi district of Uttar Pradesh.
The police action against them was initiated after a complaint by members of Hindutva group Bajrang Dal, who alleged the nuns were trying to forcefully convert two girls.
Fact: 'Culprits will be brought to justice at the earliest'
"I want to assure the people of Kerala that the culprits behind this incident will be brought to justice at the earliest," Shah said while addressing an election rally in Kanjirappally district of Kerala. The state goes to polls on April 6.
CM's letter: Kerala CM wrote to Shah asking for strict action
Earlier in the day, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had written to Shah asking for strict action in the matter.
"Such incidents tarnish the image of the nation, and its ancient tradition of religious tolerance. Such incidents require utmost condemnation by the Union government. I would request your kind intervention to instruct authorities to take strict action," Vijayan wrote in his letter.
Incident: The incident took place on March 19
The incident took place on Friday, when two nuns and two novices belonging to the Sacred Heart convent under Kerala-based Syro-Malabar Church were traveling on the Utkal Express from Delhi to Rourkela in Odisha.
However, some Bajrang Dal members boarded the train from Rishikesh in Uttarakhand, and created a ruckus, alleging the two nuns were taking the youth to forcefully convert them to Christianity.
Details: Nuns were taken into custody, questioned for hours
The situation further escalated after the nuns were forced to get off the train at the Jhansi Railway station and briefly taken into police custody.
The four were then questioned for hours based on the claims of the Bajrang Dal members.
However, after questioning, the police let them go, saying they could not find any proof about the alleged religious conversion.
Police's statement: Nuns continued their journey on Sunday
"During questioning, nothing as such came to light, and the four passengers were allowed to depart by the next train. No case has been registered in this regard," Jhansi Circle Officer Naeem Ansari told PTI.
The Syro-Malabar Church has said in a statement that the group was allowed to continue their journey on March 21 on another train while accompanied by a police escort.