On Monday, 29 March, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal dismissed the allegations as wrong that two nuns belonging to the Sacred Heart convent under the Kerala-based Syro-Malabar Church were attacked during a train journey via Uttar Pradesh, PTI reported.
While addressing a press conference in Kochi, he claimed that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan made “false statements” regarding the issue.
“There was no attack on any nun whatsoever...the Chief Minister of the state (Kerala) is completely lying and making false statements when he says that,” PTI quoted Goyal as saying.
The two nuns and two postulants were travelling from New Delhi to Rourkela in Odisha on 19 March. A ruckus was created by the Bajrang Dal members as the train reached Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh.
After the chief minister of the poll-bound state of Kerala wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the harassment of nuns in Uttar Pradesh, calling it “shocking,” Shah promised action will be taken.
Further, Goyal said that upon receiving a complaint against the nuns, the local police conducted an investigation to find out whether the complaint was correct or not.
“There was an allegation. Some people made a complaint (against the nuns). It is the duty of the police to find out whether the complaint is correct or wrong. Police made enquiries. Checked all their documents, made enquiries (to ensure) that they are genuine passengers going for the correct purpose and then immediately let them go,” Goyal added.
As per the PTI report, he dismissed the claims that the alleged student activists of an outfit of Sangh Parivar “bogged the nuns down and pulled them out of the train.”
ABOUT THE PROBE
Earlier, Naeem Khan Mansuri, the Superintendent of Railway Police in Jhansi, in a detailed statement had said: "There were some members of the ABVP who were returning from a training camp in Rishikesh onboard the Utkal express to Jhansi.”
"Four Christian ladies were travelling on the same train from Hazrat Nizamuddin in Delhi to Rourkela in Odisha. Two of them were nuns and two were under training. These members of the ABVP suspected that these two nuns were taking the other two women for conversion because the nuns were speaking to the other ladies,” the statement had said, according to IANS.
"They informed the Railway Protection Force that then informed the railway police. These ABVP members also gave a written complaint about conversion. I reached the spot and made inquiries. These inquiries revealed that the two other women were from Odisha's Rourkela and were under training.,” Mansuri said.
The Government Railway Police (GRP), Jhansi said that upon receiving information that two nuns were travelling with two other postulants in B-2 coach of Utkal Express with an intention of religious conversion, the concerned were stopped at Jhansi railway station by the complainants along with the Railway Protection Force and were then taken to Government Railway Police, Jhansi for investigation.
According to the GRP statement, upon investigation, the allegations were found out to be false.
(With inputs from PTI)
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