07/01/2015, 00.00
INDIA
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Raipur archbishop: Catholic schools on strike to protest nun’s rape

by Nirmala Carvalho
Mgr Victor Henry Thakur led today’s demonstration, which involved 30 Christian and some private schools in the state of Chhattisgarh. “Ours is a symbolic shutdown and protest to express our anguish and pain at what happened,” the prelate said.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Every Christian educational facility in the state of Chhattisgarh "will be closed today (1 July) in a symbolic protest against the rape of a nun, and to raise awareness about women's safety in the country,” said Mgr Victor Henry Thakur, archbishop of Raipur.

The prelate spoke about today’s symbolic strike, which was held to protest the violence suffered by a Catholic nun overnight on 19-20 June, when two men drugged and tied her before they assaulted her.

Around 30 Church-run schools and many other private schools in the State of Chhattisgarh took part in the demonstration. "Ours is a symbolic shutdown and protest to express our anguish and pain at what happened.”

For the prelate, “This is not just a minor issue.” Instead, “It is an issue affecting civil society and we are encouraged by the support and solidarity the Catholic Church has received, from all the Ecumenical Churches and secular society itself.”

According to Mgr Thakur, "Civil society is appalled and outraged at the violence against the nun, and whilst the administration is working towards capturing the culprits, people are not satisfied at the slow pace of the investigations, and want speedy justice."

“Around 30 different civil society organisations, and various women’s groups, are working together because, as they put it, it is not only a Church issue. It is an issue affecting women and humanity.”

“These various groups are keen on pressuring the administration to carry out a serious investigation and arrest the culprits.”

“I have met the nun,” Mgr Thakur said, “and her faith is unwavering. Even though she is going through a trauma, her dedication and commitment to Mission is resolute. She is filled with fortitude, evident in the way she recorded her statement.”

“The sister is eager for the culprits to be brought to justice as this will send a strong message to perpetrators of such heinous crimes against women and will continue to serve selflessly for the dignity, equality and justice of women and girls.”

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