Days after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan alleged “attack” on two nuns belonging to a Kerala-based congregation in a train in Uttar Pradesh, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said “there was no attack on any nun whatsoever”.
Addressing a press conference in Kochi on Monday (March 29), Goyal said, “The Chief Minister of the state (Kerala) is completely lying and making false statements.”
The alleged incident happened at Jhansi railway station on March 19 and its effect was felt in poll-bound Kerala, with Chief Minister Vijayan taking up the matter with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who promised strict action.
Goyal said the local police had received a complaint against a group of nuns. “The police did their job of finding out if the complaint had any substance. After going through all their documents, it was found that the nuns were genuine passengers going for the correct purpose. They were immediately allowed to go,” Goyal said, defending police inquiry.
Though the railway minister avoided saying who complained against the nuns, he refuted the Kerala CM’s charge that student activists belonging to an RSS outfit bogged the nuns down and pulled them out of the train. “Nothing of that sort happened. The claim is wrong,” Goyal said.
As per the initial complaint, the nuns were detained on March 19 after local Bajrang Dal activists complained that two women were allegedly being taken for religious conversion using force. The police, on verification, found out that the Bajrang Dal’s complaint could not be proved and all four women were allowed to go.
Former union minister K J Alphonse was the first one to take up the issue with Home Minister Amit Shah. Kerala BJP general secretary George Kurian too wrote to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on the topic.