Covid-19, Catholic nurse accused of converting her patients
Madhya Pradesh Hindu fundamentalists post a video claiming that a health worker invites people to pray to Jesus to save themselves from the pandemic. President of the Global Council of Indian Christians: "Artfully constructed false accusations against a person who puts their life at risk for that of others".
Mumbai (AsiaNews)- Hindu fundamentalists do not hesitate to use the weapon of anti-conversion laws even against those who assist Covid-19 patients in India on their knees due to the pandemic.
In the Ratlam district (Madhya Pradesh) a health worker is facing a police investigation following a video which allegedly shows her as she goes from house to house asking to pray to Jesus Christ for protection from Covid-19
The film was posted by BJP MP Rameshwar Sharma, claiming it is evidence of a campaign for conversions. Madhya Pradesh is one of the states governed by the BJP, a Hindu nationalist formation.
In the video, the person who is recording the video can be heard arguing with her saying, “Why are you asking people to pray to Jesus Christ? Who sent you here? Which hospital are you from? Because you tell people that they will heal by praying to Jesus Christ”.
The local superintendent of the Ratlam district, B.S. Thakur says she has received complaints about the operator's behaviour that she allegedly talked about Christianity while she was engaged in the public health campaign "Kill Coronavirus".
Thakur claims that the woman also had religious pamphlets with her. Taken to the police station, the nurse was interrogated for more than an hour and the investigation continues, while the head of the local health service said that he had already submitted a report to his superiors, asking for the suspension of her contract.
The place and manner of the complaints are highly suspect. Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (Gcic), speaks of "false and artfully constructed" accusations.
“The nurse - he explains to AsiaNews - was on official duty, going house to house in the tribal-dominated development block of Bajna, in Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh, which has a surge of corona cases and a high number of deaths due to Covid. The nurse was handing over diet plans in this area. The bigoted right wing forces, use provisions of the Madhya Pradesh freedom of religion Act 2021 to make fabricated conversion claims. This Act is being used as a tool to terrorise the Christian community. At personal risk, this young nurse was going door to door, as a health care worker, taking care and helping the district and State in this second surge of pandemic.”
“At these times, when the nation should be united in the fight against the Corona virus, the Communal Virus raises its ugly head, and the MP freedom of Religion Act 2021 is a weapon to be used against the vulnerable Christian community on flimsy grounds. These tweets from right wing handles are not out of social and health care concerns of the tribal dominated populace of Bajna, but rather out of narrow political consideration. The Corona Virus must be halted with proper medical treatment, which this dedicated nurse was providing, putting her own life at risk, unfortunately the Communal virus has also gone viral in India.”