Bajrang Dal activists traumatised orphans: Nuns

Bajrang Dal activists traumatised orphans: Nuns

Stella Maris School Headmistress Rev Sr P F Madtha (2nd from left) addressing media persons at St Agnes College in Mangalore on Tuesday. Apostolic Carmel Superior General Rev Sr Agatha Mary (3rd from left) among others look on.DH photo

Addressing media persons at a press meet at St Agnes College here on Tuesday, she narrated the entire incident — right from Bajrang Dal activists stopping the bus from travelling to Bidar (the students’ native place) to police taking them to Children’s Observation Home in Bondel, to their release finally at 10 pm.

Terming the entire incident as ‘atrocious,’ Sr Madtha said the Bajrang Dal activists not only traumatised the children, but also made them starve without food or water from 1 pm till 10 pm on that day.

Regretting that the children were taken to Remand Home for no fault of theirs, she said the authorities concerned did not release them till late night though the nuns produced the required documents and license to substantiate the claim that they were the bonafide students of the orphanage at Stella Maris in Kotekar.

She also demanded justice and action against the miscreants who threatened and traumatised the students.

Rs 25,000 loss

Stating that the institute suffered a financial loss of Rs 25,000 (the tickets of 41 students and 2 staff to travel from Mangalore to Bidar), she said the institute had to purchase fresh tickets by paying another Rs 25,000 to send the children to their homes in Bidar on the following day (April 9).

76 year old institution

Giving details about the institution, Apostolic Carmel Superior General Rev Sr Agatha Mary said the Stella Maris ophanage, managed by the sisters of the Apostolic Carmel congregation (started in Mangalore in 1870 with the objective of empowering women through education) was started in 1938. This apart, there are 3 more orphanages run by the convent in Kundapura, Kemmannu and Bondel set up in 1931, 1933 and 1939 respectively. “Over the years, more than 15,000 children have been benefitted from their stay and study in these orphanages,” she said.

Stating that all the four orphanages were recognised by the Backward Community and Minority (BCM) department, Provincial Superior Rev Sr M Linette said at present there are 275 children in these orphanages studying in classes III to X. “Around 200 of these receive a grant of Rs 350 per month while the remaining expenses of around Rs 650 per student per month is borne by the management,” she informed.

Police partial

Corporator Mariamma Thomas alleged that though the police booked case against the institution in a short span of time, the complaint filed by the nuns against the Bajrang Dal activists on April 10 is yet to be registered by the police. “We have informed the Police Commissioner as the Kadri police are yet to file FIR, though a complaint has been lodged on April 10,” she charged.