WASHINGTON — Indian-American Christians have asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take steps to end the escalation of violence against Christian institutions and their leaders in India.
The Federation of Indian American Christian Organisations of North America (FIACONA) said it was deeply troubled by the escalation of violence against Christian institutions in India again after a brief lull following the Delhi elections.
"Though, the rape of a 71 year old Catholic nun at the Jesus and Mary convent in the town of Ranaghat in Nadia district of West Bengal State last Saturday was first reported as common robbery incident, people on the ground inform us that the reported robbery could be merely a cover," said John Prabhudoss, FIACONA president.
"We are concerned that the law enforcement has been dragging its feet even after the CCTV images of the culprits were released. It makes us wonder if the accused are being protected by powerful political groups," he said.
While welcoming Modi's interest in the case, Prabhudoss said Indian-American Christians are disappointed that his government has been maintaining silence over another incident in Haryana, where his own party is in power.
"There, a church under construction was demolished by members of BJP's sister organisations. These members also replaced the cross on the site with an image of Hanuman - a Hindu god, and a saffron color flag of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad," he said.
"We ask Modi and his government to end such hostilities carried out by BJP's affiliated organisations," a statement from FIACONA said.
"Statements like the one from the Chief Minister of the State of Haryana only creates the image that the BJP would try and protect the perpetrators of such hateful violence regardless of what Prime Minister Modi has promised," it said.
A septuagenarian nun was raped in a convent in Ranaghat on March 14. The horrific crime sent shockwaves not only in the state and country but also abroad.