» 11/17/2011, 00.00
India, funeral for Catholic nun murdered by Coal Mafia
Sister Valsa, 53, of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary, had worked for 20 years with the Santal tribals in the region of Dhumka. A gang shot her in cold blood in front of her house. In the past she had received numerous threats from members of the local mafia for issues related to settlements close to the coal mines. Local bishop: "Her martyrdom strengthens and renews the Church's mission in India."
Dhumka (AsiaNews) – The funeral of Sister Valsa John, originally from Kerala took place this morning in the cathedral of Dumka (Jharkhand State). The Catholic religious was gunned down on the night of November 15 last by a group of unknown persons. Among the crowd that filled the cathedral, the brother, sister and two nephews of the nun, who for 20 years dedicated her life to the Santal tribal region. Bishop Julius Marandi of Dumka, told AsiaNews: "Her violent death was a terrible shock and a great loss to the Church. We seek justice, but while we mourn this loss, our mission for the poor, the weak and voiceless will continue, strengthened and renewed by the blood of Sister Valsa, who now intercedes for human rights, justice, dignity and hope of these people. "
There have been no official statements yet regarding the murder of Sister Valsa, which took place in front of her house, but many suspect the coal Mafia, which operates in the region, is responsible. The Catholic nun, 53 years, belonged to the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary and several times had been approached by local crime gang member, for issues related to the coal mines. "Our sister – says her elder brother MJ Baby, - had told us about the threats, but was firm on her positions in favor of the tribals. I did not think the would kill her. " The family had seen the nun for the last time in August, when she returned to Kochi for a brief visit.
Fr. Tom Kavala, SJ, who has worked for over 15 years with the nun, told AsiaNews: "Sister Valsa created a tribal organization to stop the expropriation of land sought by the powerful coal lobbies, including helping them to obtain compensation from companies. Six years ago, one of these lobbies e tried to buy out nine villages and Sister Valsa mobilized the local poor people. These coal barons lodged 33 complaints against her and her supporters, and many of them ended up in prison".
"Sister Valsa - said Mgr. Marandi - paid for her struggle for the poor and defenseless, against the interests of the powerful coal mafia with her life. The Church of Dumka and all Jharkhand pray that her martyrdom will renew the mission of the Church to be a witness of faith. "
After taking her vows in 1984, Sister Valsa started teaching economics at St George High School in Kochi (Kerala), but soon left teaching to devote her life to mission among the Dhumka tribals. In 2007 she was arrested for protesting against a coal mine built illegally on land of the tribals in the district of Pakur.
The sacrifice and apostolate of Sister Valsa, nun murdered by the coal mafia
A year after her death, the archbishop of New Delhi marks the martyrdom of the Catholic nun with a Mass and a meeting. A fellow member of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary spoke about Sister Valsa's "growing isolation" from "Church and congregation". The nun was advocate for the rights of Santal Tribals in the area of Dumka (Jharkand).
Secular and Christians demand justice for the nun murdered by the Mafia Coal
All appeals denounce the "shameless" link between the powerful coal companies and the State. Fr. Cedric Prakash, director of the Center for Justice and Peace in Ahmedabad Prashant: "The Martyrdom of Sister Valsa is a challenge for the Church in India." Sajan K George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "The government, led by Hindu extremists, is the real culprit."
Sister Valsa murder: police try to bury case by arresting people close to the Maoists
But the Church is continuing its investigations into the coal mafia. According to Father Tom Kavalatt SJ, longtime friend of the Catholic nun and director of the Social Action Centre, the seven arrested "are a cover to protect the interests of others."
Indian Church defend priests and nun arrested for nun’s murder in 1992
In 1992 a nun was found dead in a well. After years of fruitless investigations, police arrest two priests and a nun. The Church is raising doubts about their guilt, urges the faithful to “pray for the truth.”
09/03/2016 14:39:00 INDIA
Sister Selmy: By the power of God I forgave my sister's murderer (Video)
Sister Rani Maria was killed in 1995, stabbed 54 times. The murderer was a radical Hindu, incited by village leaders, who wanted to stop the nun's activities in favor of tribal poor. The path "that led me to forgive Samunder Singh has not been easy, but now he's my brother." Instead, "my mother said once: 'I would kiss his hands, because on them there is the blood of my daughter'." The exchange of the Indian bracelet that celebrates love between siblings; the moment of encounter with the victim's mother.
Trump, Marine Le Pen and the Middle East: Lebanon against walls and divisions
The beginning of the Trump presidency has been characterised by the "babelisation" of American society. Each country pours out his hatred against an external enemy. The current global crisis has religious roots. At the heart of the chaos there is the Jihadi threat. The third world war cannot be won with drones, but with moderation and promoting rapprochement and discussions.
EGYPT - ISLAM
Al Azhar under the influence of Daesh Islamism
The official religious institutions and so-called Islamic universities are the cause of the immobility of the Muslim world. The programs taught and literature used at Al Azhar are the same that are applied on the ground by all armed terrorists. No comparison possible between Al Azhar and the Vatican. The Vatican has hosted Iraqi Muslims and Syrians fleeing the war. Al Azhar has never done anything for Christians and Yazidis. The persecution of Nasr Mohamed Abdellah, eager to modernize Islam. The comment of one Muslim student.
18/02/2017 CHINA - VATICAN
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.