Samandar, a Hindu, killed a nun; now he says Christians give us dignity
On the anniversary of the day when he stabbed to death Sister Rani Mari, who was beatified in 2017, her killer, touched by the forgiveness of the victim's family, went to her tomb to “pray for Sister Rani Maria and Christians who are unjustly accused of conversion.”
Ernakulam (AsiaNews) – A former Hindu extremist, Samandar Singh, travelled to Udainagar to visit the grave of Sister Rani Maria, a Syro-Malabar nun member of Clarist Franciscan congregation, whom he killed 27 years ago, on 25 February 1995.
"I pray for Sister Rani Maria and Christians who are unjustly accused of conversion. This is my life now,” he said, speaking to AsiaNews about the nun, who was beatified in 2017. “I am a Hindu and I can tell others who persecute Christians for conversion activities that they are wrong.”
Samandar Singh, who dragged the nun out of a bus and stabbed her 54 times, spent 12 years in prison for this murder.
Despite the brutality of his gesture, Sister Selmi Paul, the nun's younger sister, met him several times in prison and offered her forgiveness, accompanying him in his journey of change.
The family of the murdered nun left no stone unturned to get him out of prison on parole. So Samandar became a free man on 22 August 2006. More recently he took part in a service commemorating Sister Rani’s Maria’s death.
“I live 100 km from the tomb of Sister Rani Maria,” he told AsiaNews. “I am here to pray for her and also for our people and for those who make false accusations against Christians.”
“I went to her tomb many times, to meditate and pray, light candles and offer flowers in front of the tombstone on which these words are engraved: ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against him’.”
“Christians help our people get dignity and live a respectable life. Christians serve our people. Those who persecute Christians are misinformed and even instigated by others.”
Samandar also visited Pullukuli, Sister Rani Maria's native village in Ernakulam, a district in Kerala, to meet the nun's sick father and other family members.