Assault on Nuns Triggers Massive Protest in India

Not an Isolated Incident, Bishop Says

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PATNA, India, DEC. 14, 2000 (
The religious minority institutions of Hazaribagh organized a massive protest last week against the assault on the nuns and rape of a cook of St. Anna´s Girls High School in Kurpuria, Bokaro, the SAR Catholic news agency reported.

Some 100 institutions in the district remained closed, and the teachers and students went in a silent procession through the main streets of the city last Friday.

The procession was led by Bishop Charles Soren of Hazaribagh, minority community leaders, and J.S. Shaw, principal of St. Columba´s College, Hazaribagh. The communities´ representatives later submitted a memorandum to the District Collector, addressed to Jharkhand Chief Minister, Babulal Marandi.

Before the march, a meeting was held in the campus of St. Columba College, which was presided over by Bishop Soren. The bishop expressed concern over the increasing number of attacks on Christian women, particularly tribal women. He said the attack in Kurpuria was not an isolated incident and added that such incidents also happened in many other parts of the state.

Meanwhile, Joseph P. Galstaun, Anglo-Indian political representative of Jharkhand, visited St. Anna´s School in Bokaro and expressed concern over the attack. The nuns have sought adequate security and protection for the girls of the convent and school staff. Galstaun has directed the police authorities to arrange for armed guards to be posted in the school campus.

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