By Louis Rodrigues –
Kolhapur: In what could be termed as a cowardly act against nuns, activists of Yuva Sena – a youth wing of Shiv Sena, have vandalized the office of a convent school for girls at Kolhapur. The incident that occurred at Holy Cross High School, a girls convent school in Kolhapur city in southern Maharashtra Tuesday afternoon.
According to the management of the school, located at Nagala Park area of Kolhapur city, the incident occurred at around 1.30 pm, during the school hours where the vandals have damaged furniture, computers etc.
After a police complaint that was lodged at Shahupuri police station late Tuesday evening, Kolhapur police have arrested 2 persons while other 18 are absconding. “We have taken a serious note of the incident. Apart from providing police protection to the institution, we have taken 2 persons into custody, while 18 others are absconding,” Kolhapur Superintendent of Police Abhinav Deshmukh told ICM.
Giving details about the incident Sister Bharati, head mistress of the primary section of the school said, about 20 activists forcibly entered the school campus shouting slogans against the school management and ransacked the office, while the bewildered nuns, KG students and members of the staff helplessly looked on.
“They entered the campus forcibly, told me that parents were complaining about the building fees and started abusing me and the staff members. When I requested them to maintain calm and offered to discuss the issue in a peaceful manner, they started breaking the office furniture and glasses of the windows. They also damaged the religious items like the statues and cross in the office,” Sr Bharati said.
“Ours is a school for girls. The attack was so sudden and heinous, that girl students from the lower classes were trembling with fear and are still in the state of shock. It was a traumatic situation and we could do nothing except for watching the act of vandalism,” Sr Bharati added further.
Meanwhile, the management of Holy Cross Convent on Wednesday declared that the school will remain closed till the vandals are arrested and security is provided to the school. Christians of Kolhapur and the parents of the school, who had gathered in large number at the school campus Wednesday morning, staged protests and submitted separate memorandums to Collector of Kolhapur Avinash Subhedar, a copy of which was submitted to SP Abhinav Deshmukh. While the Christians have asked for the protection for the Christian institutions and churches in the city, the parents have condemned the act as heinous act.
“We condemn the act of vandalism and also condemn the local Shiv Sena MLA (Kshirsagar) who has endorsed the act by supporting the vandals. We are concerned about the security of our daughters, hence we support the management, “the parents have stated in their memorandum.
Meanwhile, Bishop of Pune Rev Dr Thomas Dabre has raised concern about the incident. “I am sorry and saddened to learn about the attack. We are always open for discussion on any matters and issues, therefore there was no need for such an aggressive reaction on the part of the assailants. This is not the way to settle the issues in a civilized society. All the church-run institutions are intended to serve people, especially the poor and marginalized. We in the diocese of Pune are totally with our nuns at the Holy Cross High School and extend our full support,” Bishop Dabre said. He also assured that the matter would be taken at higher level after discussion with the nuns.
Archbishop of Bangalore Rev Dr Peter Machado too has condemned the act of vandalism stating that the act against the Christian institution was certainly a deep cause for concern. The matter would be discussed in the ongoing meeting of the CBCI in Bangalore, he said.
source : indiancatholicmatters
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