INDIA Child protection agency terrifies girls at Sagar hostel run by nuns

The child welfare agency president inspected the Bishop Clemens Memorial Boarding Inn for evidence of “conversions” by the nuns. Father Joseph would like to see the same agency “take note of the safety and security of thousands of children living on the streets of Indian cities”.

Sagar (AsiaNews) – A Catholic girls’ home in Madhya Pradesh has been inspected by India’s National Commission for the Protection of Children’s Rights (NCPCR).

Seeking evidence of alleged conversions by the nuns who run the establishment, the Commission did not hesitate to traumatize the girls with questions and searches of their rooms.

The Bishop Clemens Memorial Hostel, which was opened in 2014 by the Sisters of Jesus, is located in Intkheri, a village in the Diocese of Sagar.

NCPCR Chairman Priyank Kanoongo from Madhya Pradesh came with a group of people on Monday and passed through the hostel, which is currently housing 19 students aged 14 to 17 enrolled in public schools in Raisen district.

“They opened closets, checked private rooms as well as bags looking for evidence,” Sister Jancy, a counselor at the Sisters of Jesus, said, speaking to AsiaNews.

“The girls are traumatized. There is no conversion activity in our hostel. They discovered that five girls had books on the Christian faith, but they were Catholic girls who came here from their village to study,” Sister Jancy explained.

“Our order strives to empower girls through education, with special attention to those who come from the poorest families. That is why we offer them hospitality in the hostel.

The next day, the Commission returned to interview the girls and two nuns separately.

The hostel’s permits were questioned, despite the fact that the Bishop Clemens Memorial Boarding hostel duly registered through online procedures, like all hostels in the Diocese of Sagar.

“The NCPCR is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of children in the country and in this case, there is no serious cause for concern,” said Verbite Fr Babu Joseph, former spokesperson for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. (CBCI), addressing AsiaNews.

Additionally, “finding Christian literature in an institution run by Christian nuns is not a crime,” he added.

“I want this same commission to take note of the safety and security of thousands of children living on the streets of Indian cities.”

Linda G. Ibarra