2015-03-27 15:45:00

Catholic school threatened in West Bengal, India

The Sisters of Holy Child Mary, who run a girls’ school in eastern India’s West Bengal state, have received letters threatening to “burn the school and the local church” if they do not leave.  "We do not know who is behind the threats, but we are not scared. The sisters will never leave their mission. We are not afraid of these threats", said Archbishop Thomas D'Souza of Calcutta, in the state capital Kolkata.  He was commenting on the threatening letters received by St Bartolomea Capitanio Convent  in Nagrakata in northern West Bengal, which comes under the jurisdiction of Jalpaiguri Diocese, but whose pronvincial headquarters is in Kolkata.  

School principal, Sister Anise Jacob filed a complaint on 22 March, and since then security measures have increased, with police pickets outside the building and in adjacent areas.  Archbishop D’Souza said district officials have assured the sisters and provided the necessary protection.  "The school - the bishop told AsiaNews - is very old. Most of the students are tribal Adivasis. 192 girls live in the hostel. Nearby there is also a boys' school. "  He said the  Catholic Church is in touch with the police officers and with the sisters. Investigations proceed and the convent is protected. The local population has organized committees to control the area.

On March 13, another Catholic school run by the Religious of Jesus and Mary order in West Bengal was attacked, during which the 72-year old superior was raped.  (Source: AsiaNews)

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