April 3, 2021 8:39:27 am
The railway police have arrested three men involved in the alleged harassment of two nuns from Kerala on a train in Jhansi last month, officials said on Friday. They had allegedly accosted the nuns on March 19, accusing them of indulging in forced religious conversion, and made them and two young women accompanying them get off the train.
According to the police, the men were arrested on Thursday night as a “preventive measure” for “creating a ruckus” over alleged inaction following a complaint one of them had lodged against the nuns. No case has been registered yet in connection with the March 19 incident.
The men are members of Hindu outfits. While Ajay Shankar Tewari belongs to the RSS students’ wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Anchal Arjariya’s social media profile describes him as an office-bearer of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Hindu Jagran Manch, and a member of the Gau Raksha Samiti. The three were booked under CrPC Section 151 on charges of breach of peace and preventing the commission of cognizable offences.
Government Railway Police’s (GRP) Lucknow Superintendent of Police (SP) Saumitra Yadav said two of the men reached the Jhansi railway station on Thursday night and were planning a protest when they were arrested. “On Thursday, around 10 pm, two of them — Anchal Arjariya and Purgesh Amariya — were at the railway station planning a protest against inaction against the nuns with respect to a complaint lodged by Ajay Shankar Tewari. When they were asked by officials to leave the premises, they started creating a ruckus, and had to be arrested under CrPC Section 151,” Yadav added.
Soon after, Tewari came to the GRP station and tried to create a ruckus, the police claimed, and was arrested.
Asked if a case was being lodged in connection with the train incident, Saumitra Yadav said, “I have submitted a report about the incident to my seniors. They will be a taking a call on what action has to be taken.”
He added that on Friday the accused were presented before a magistrate who sent them to jail till April 6. Jhansi GRP Inspector Sunil Kumar Singh said no case had been lodged against Tewari, Arjariya and Amariya for last month’s incident. “They have been sent to jail as a preventive measure. They have not been booked for the incident on March 19.”
Last month, after a video of the harassment of the women came to light, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said at a poll rally in Kerala that the culprits “will be brought to justice”.
The incident also prompted Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to write a letter to Shah demanding action against “all groups and individuals who disrupt and impair the freedom of individual rights guaranteed by the Constitution”.
According to officials, the two nuns and two 19-year-old postulants — those seeking admission to a religious order — of the Sacred Hearts Congregation of Delhi Province boarded the Haridwar-Puri Kalinga Utkal Express in Delhi but were forced to get off at Jhansi.
Railway officials said the nuns were asked to disembark from the train based on a written complaint from Tewari, a Jhansi resident, and another passenger. In his complaint, the ABVP member said he was not travelling in the same coach as the women but came across them while “passing by”. He then called the Railway helpline and alerted local “Hindu neta” Arjariya, who informed the GRP and Railway Protection Force (RPF) in Jhansi. Officials said the complainants were “members of the ABVP returning to Jhansi from a training camp in Rishikesh”.
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