Sister Vibha Kerketta was arrested for an anti-conversion law during her first home visit after her religious profession in Chhattisgarh, India, on June 6, 2023.
While having a Thanksgiving Mass in their home for her profession in the Daughters of St Anne congregation, the nun, her mother, and three others were arrested and jailed.
Her mother and others were accused of insulting other religions and conducting a healing session by Hindu fundamentalists who barged into the house.
Christian groups said, "The evening Mass was attended by Catholic relatives, friends, and neighbors of the nuns," and they denied the allegations.
A senior nun told Matters India, "Sister Kerketta took her first vows in the congregation based in Ranchi, the capital of neighboring Jharkhand state, six months ago. However, she could go home to Balachhapar, a village in the Jashpur district, only after a course in English and Hindi."
In response to the Hindu radicals' claims, the nun said the family had not conducted a healing session or preached.
"Three others, including Sister Kerketta's mother, have been arrested, and the police are searching for others," she said.
In a report published on June 7 by Dainik Jagran, a Hindi Newspaper widely circulated in northern India, it was reported that "the healing session and religious conversion" in Jashpur, some 425 km northeast of Raipur, caused a commotion.
Hiramuni Bai, a resident of Schoolpara Lane in the village, was also informed about the religious program when a healing session was organized at her house. Raimuni Bhagat, the president of the Zila Panchayat (district council), and four others entered the house with Bajrang Dal activists and Hindu Vahini activists.
According to a Hindu leader and BJP leader, Sister Kerketta and her mother humiliated Hindu deities and incited villagers to riot.
Sister Kerketta, her mother, and three others were booked under various sections of the state's anti-conversion law by a police officer in charge, Ravishankar Tiwari.
Bail applications will be heard on June 13 in Jashpur jail, where they were sent to prison.
Christian leaders in Jashpur said the five were taken to the police station and kept there for the night. The following day they were produced before the court.
They have granted bail to the nun's uncle, who is visually challenged, and others were remanded in custody.
A group of 20 people broke into the nun's house, slapped her mother, and questioned her mother about Christianity. In addition, they destroyed a Bible copy, a candle holder, and a rosary.
There has been fear among local Christians after the incident, Christian leaders report. - With inputs from Matters India
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