By Archana Rao
Around 300 people gathered at the Sacred Heart Cathedral on Monday to condemn the alleged gangrape of a 72-year-old nun in Ranaghat district of West Bengal last week. A religious prayer service was organised by the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese at the venue.
“We have gathered here today in an inter-religious prayer meeting to condemn not only the gangrape that took place in West Bengal but also the Lahore church attack,” Convent of Jesus and Mary principal Sister Janet said.
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“Such attacks have increased since the current government took over last year. We are losing a sense of belonging. No concrete measures have been taken to stop such attacks,” she said.
Chief of Mahanirvani Akhara of Naga Sadhu, Swami Maartand Puri, Chief Imam of All India Imam organisation, Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, Gurminder Singh of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Amritsar and Lokesh Muni of Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti too participated in the prayer meeting.
“Everybody knows… this is three weeks before elections (local body elections). I don’t want to say anything beyond this. My question to this government is what have they done about the Church burning incident in Delhi that took place on December 1 last year. It has been 100 days. Has one person been detained? Has any inquiry happened?” O’Brien said.
At the prayer meeting Father Savarimuthu Sankar, spokesperson of Delhi Catholic Archdiocese, said that such gatherings are a clear witness that the country is united and only through unity can they go forward.
“Any kind of progress, development, is possible only if we are united. Any kind of division which is based on language, religion, is going to bring our country down. It is only some fringe elements, small minority groups, who think that by creating communal tension they can achieve something,” he said.
Father Savarimuthu said the government should take such incidents more seriously.
“Whatever the prime minister, chief ministers say… it is not enough limiting yourselves to words. We want words translated into actions. There is a lack of political will. If there is real political will, things can be done,” he said.
A participant at the venue said, “After such a tremendous response from people of different communities, I’m convinced that action will be taken very soon. Also, with the presence of a woman chief minister in Bengal, I’m sure justice will be served immediately.”
(The reporter is a student of EXIMS)