PMO seeks reports on gang-rape, church vandalism

PMO seeks reports on gang-rape, church vandalism

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed deep concern over the gang-rape of an elderly nun in West Bengal and the vandalism of a church in Haryana, as his office sought immediate reports on these incidents.

“PM is deeply concerned about the incidents in Hisar, Haryana and Nadia, West Bengal (sic),” tweeted the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). It also said: “PMO has asked for immediate report on facts & action taken regarding the incidents in Haryana & West Bengal (sic).”

The incidents comes exactly a month after Modi broke his months-long silence over a string of recent attacks on five churches and a Christian school in Delhi, and said he would not let any religious group—majority or minority—incite hatred against others overtly or covertly. Modi, who has been accused by the Opposition and Christian groups of turning a blind eye, had said his government gives “equal respect to all religions”.

Aides said Modi was very upset that a 71-year-old nun was reportedly gang-raped by dacoits at Gangnapur in the Nadia district of West Bengal in the early hours of Saturday, following which a CID probe was ordered by the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee into the incident.

The PMO has also sought details from the Haryana government about an under-construction church in Kaimri village near Hisar, which was vandalised by a group and the cross replaced with an idol of Lord Hanuman. On Monday, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had told the Assembly that the church's priest had been luring Hindu youths to his faith by promising brides. He held that residents of Kaimri village were opposed to the “so-called” church, and a group of attackers had torn down the under-construction precinct on Sunday.
Khattar said initially the priest, Subhash Chand, had started preaching the Bible to the 10-12 workers involved with the structure's construction on February 8.

“Some people from Kaimri and Hisar had opposed it then, but the village sarpanch had settled the matter,” he said, adding that an FIR had been lodged against 14 people on the priest's complaint.

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