Following deboarding from a train in the Jhansi district, two nuns and two postulants have filed a complaint alleging verbal harassment at the hands of ABVP members.
As per the Indian Express, the complaint was submitted digitally to Government Railway Police (Lucknow) SP, Saumitra Yadav on Saturday. According to government sources, in the complaint, it was mentioned that the four Christian women were harassed by the ABVP members since they boarded the Haridwar-Puri Kalinga Utkal Express in the National Capital.
The complaint further revealed that the ABVP members tried to strike a conversation with the nuns but upon receiving no response, the members made calls to their associates and lodged a complaint with the GRP and RPF.
The video of the alleged incident was also circulated over social media where the nuns and ABVP members can be seen engaging in a scuffle over a discussion on religious conversion.
In the videos, Railway personnel and some unidentified men can be seen questioning the nuns inside the coach and asking a postulant for her Aadhaar card. Upon hearing one postulant say that she was ‘preparing to become a nun’, a male voice can be heard saying ‘these people are engaged in religious conversions’ as a response.
Following the incident, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday, March 24, wrote a missive to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, urging him to take strict action against those involved in the shocking incident.
This incident triggered a political debate in Kerala ahead of the state assembly elections with Home Minister Amit Shah assuring that ABVP members will be brought to book during a rally in Kerala.
On Friday, the ABVP deemed the actions of its workers as an ‘entirely appropriate step’. Their claim was on the basis of a fact-finding exercise according to which the workers were right in alerting the Railways in light of ‘rising incidents of sexual abuses and conversions by the system of missionaries’.
The postulants were returning home to Rourkela accompanied by the two nuns after finishing their course in Delhi.
Ajay Shankar Tiwari, an ABVP worker who was traveling on the same train as the nuns, alleged that he saw the two nuns speaking to the young girls and doubted that they were trying to convert them.
The nuns and the postulates were forcefully removed from the train by the Jhansi police without the presence of women police officials and despite nuns showing their Aadhaar ID cards.
SP Saumitra Yadav who received the complaint said that she has submitted a report on the incident to her seniors and is expecting a response soon.