India

Narendra Modi expresses 'deep concern' over India nun rape

CCTV footage of two men in the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Ranaghat 15 March 2015 Image copyright AFP PHOTO / West Bengal Police
Image caption Police have released images of the suspects in West Bengal and offered a reward for information

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed concern over attacks on a nun and a church and demanded "immediate action" against the perpetrators.

The rape of an elderly nun in West Bengal state last week has sparked outrage in the country.

At the weekend, a Catholic church in Haryana was vandalised and the cross replaced with an idol of a Hindu god.

Critics say Mr Modi's government is not doing enough to stop Hindu zealots targeting minorities.

Correspondents say the rape case and recent attacks on churches have made Indian Christians feel insecure, although it is not clear whether the assault on the convent was sectarian.

On Tuesday, Mr Modi's office put out a series of tweets on the two incidents:

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter

Ten men have been detained in connection with the rape of the 74-year-old in West Bengal's Nadia district early on Saturday morning.

But none of them resemble the six alleged attackers who were caught on CCTV burgling the convent before the nun was raped.

On Monday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the nun was recovering in hospital and the police were "looking for the mastermind of the incident".

Image copyright Manoj dhaka
Image caption Fourteen people have been detained in connection with the attack on a church in Haryana

At least 14 people have been questioned in connection with Sunday's attack on a church which was being built in Haryana's Hisar district, but no arrests have been made.

"We have to raise our voice against the atrocities. Christians will not tolerate this humiliation," Father Savari Muthu, spokesman for the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese, told the NDTV news channel.

Last month, Mr Modi vowed to protect all religious groups after a string of attacks on churches in Delhi.

Addressing a Christian audience in the capital, he called on all religious groups to show restraint and mutual respect.

Since December, five churches have been attacked in the city and police has tightened security.

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