06/08/2023, 15.34
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Nun celebrates first vows, arrested under Chhattisgarh’s anti-conversion legislation

After Sister Bibha Kerketta, of the Daughters of St. Anne of Ranchi returned to her village for the first since her profession, she celebrated the event with a Mass for friends and relatives. Hindu radicals have accused her of discrediting other religions. She is now in jail with her mother and three other people.

Jashpur (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A young Indian nun was arrested along with her mother and three other people in her village, Balachhapar, in Jashpur district (Chhatisgarh).

The religious Sister, who took her vows six months ago in Ranchi (Jharkhand), is a member of the Congregation of the Daughters of Saint Anne, an Indian congregation founded in 1897 by Sister Mary Bernadette Prasad Kispotta, the first servant of God of tribal origin in India.

Upon her return home, she took part in a religious service to celebrate her profession. She and the others were arrested after local Hindu nationalist groups filed a complaint against her for conducting healing sessions and hurting other religions.

In reality, according to local Christians who spoke to Matters India, an Indian Catholic online news platform, Sister Bibha Kerketta and her family held a Thanksgiving Mass for her first vows, inviting relatives, friends and Catholic neighbours.

However, Tuesday evening, members of radical Hindu groups barged into the house where the service was being held. Dainik Jagran, a Hindi newspaper with wide circulation in northern India, reported that "the healing session and religious conversion" had created a commotion in Jashpur.

Once police heard about it, it sent a team to the house and brought the two groups to the police station for questioning, then arrested Sister Kerketta, her mother and three other people under various sections of the state's anti-conversion law. All five are still in police custody.

Photo: Celebration of the first vows of Daughters of St Anne in Ranchi (Jharkhand).

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