Friday, May 5, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Nuns assaulted in Jhansi

NEW DELHI, May 4 (UNI, PTI) — Six masked men assaulted nuns at a convent in Jhansi, desecrated their prayer room, and looted money and valuables even as the BJP commended the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) today for its “prompt and factual” report on the recent attacks on Christian institutions in UP.

The latest attack, on the daughters of the Sacred Heart, the same order of nuns whose sisters were assaulted in Mathura earlier this month, was carried out at Paricha on the night of May 2, the All India Catholic Union (AICU) said.

The attack comes close on the heels of an NCM report which dismissed the recent attacks on Christian institutions in the state as a law and order problem.

The AICU said the men forced their entry into the convent by breaking open the locks of its collapsable gate and door. They cut the telephone cable, beat up the nuns and took away Rs 12,000 in cash, a tape recorder, wrist watches and three silver chains.

Before leaving, they forced their entry into the chapel where after locating the key of the Tabernacle, they desecrated it.

Meanwhile, the BJP, in power in Delhi and Lucknow, issued a statement commending the NCM for what it called was a “factual report” on the string of attacks on the Christian institutions in the state.

The NCM had denied any political angle in similar attacks in Agra, Mathura and Rewari last month and dismissed them as “robbery and law and order problem”.

BJP General Secretary M. Venkaiah Naidu said here today that the Vajpayee-led NDA Government’s track record showed that there was complete harmony among all sections of people. During this period (NDA rule) least number of communal clashes had taken place.

Meanwhile the BJP on Thrursday hit out at opposition parties for “communalising and politicising” attacks on Christians saying these were ordinary law and order incidents as was stated by the NCM.

“Our opponents do not seem to realise that in seeking to discredit our party and the government with their false propaganda, they are actually discrediting India in the eyes of international community,” party spokesman Venkaiah Naidu told reporters here.

He said the NCM had said the incidents reported in the media were ordinary law and order events with “no communal colour whatsoever”.

He said findings of the commission had been corroborated by nuns and authorities of educational institutions which became unfortunate targets of certain anti-social and disgruntled elements.

He said the BJP expressed its deep concern over repeated allegations of political nature against it and the government by spokesman of the AICU John Dayal.

He said his party was baffled why Dayal was using the cover of a religious organisation to carry on his “strident tirade” against the BJP and the government.

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