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Missionary schools closed after Loreto vandalism

Written by: Staff

Lucknow, Sep 11 (UNI) Over 20 Catholic schools in the Uttar Pradesh capital today remained closed as a mark of protest following vandalism at Loreto Convent school yesterday after reports that the school had held a 'special assembly' to enable students interact with Lord Jesus.

Hundreds of activists of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, an affiliate of the BJP, scaled the walls and damaged flower pots and other property including doors, window panes and an iron gate to protest the school's attempt ''to convert students to Christianity''.

Association of Catholic Education Institutions, UP, said the schools would continue to remain closed if the police failed to arrest all the miscreants.

SSP (Lucknow) Dr G K Goswami said two BJYM activists were arrested from the school premises yesterday itself. ''The hunt is on...we would not spare anyone guilty of the crime.'' Meanwhile, District Magistrate Ramendra Tripathi said a probe, to be completed within three days, had been ordered into the 'special assembly' issue. The probe would look into the various aspects of the assembly organised by the school. The probe team would talk to students, teachers, Principal Sister Monica and parents of the students who attended the assembly.

The probe was ordered after parents slammed the school management for organising such events without their permission. Parents said such acts could create a wrong impression in the minds of impressionable students.

The school, so far, has termed the event as a 'prayer meeting' which students were not forced to attend. A school spokesperson told reporters that students and teachers were asked to attend the assembly at their own free will.

Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav said here today the probe would look into all the aspects. ''It would not be appropriate to comment on the issue before the probe findings were finalised,'' he added.

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Pramod Tiwari lamented that the CM refused to comment on the BJYM vandalism. ''He should have at least criticised the BJP for its youth wing's undemocratic behaviour,'' he quipped.

The local media had reported that Loreto Convent had organised a special assembly on September 6 in which around 250 girls of classes VIII to XII participated. The demonstration was carried by members of the 'Chandra Cult' based in Krishnanagar of West Bengal.

Nobo Kumar of the cult served as a medium to bring 'Ishu' to heal and bless the audience.

But the experience reportedly left most of the students petrified and shocked. Some of the girls fainted after the assembly.

Students claimed that Nobo Kumar went around grunting and growling while inducing Jesus to enter his body. Nobo Kumar held the right hand of children and rubbed a Cross on it when some of them stepped forward to seek the Lord's blessing.


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