17 Nov 2011

Nun who fought for Tribal rights beheaded

Just had this from one of my friends in India

'This is an odd story, but rather resonant. A Catholic Nun who was fighting for Tribal rights was beheaded by a group of men, after receiving threats from the local coal mafia.

I think this illustrates another aspect of "Dirty Coal"'

Catholic nun Valsa John (52), who was involved in a movement against displacement of tribal people by coal mining companies in Jharkhand, was murdered early on Wednesday. The killing occurred at Bachuwari village of Pakur district, 430 km from here. The police suspect that a coal mafia is behind it.

In the immediate context, she had been protesting against the functioning of a private coal mine in Pakur district. She was staying at Bachwari for the last 12 years, all by herself. She was seeking to protect the interests of the Santhal tribe, some members of which were displaced by the Panem Coal Mines.

According to the police, some unidentified men approached her house around midnight. When she opened the door, she was beaten with sticks and hacked to death.

The nun, who hailed from Kerala, was arrested in 2007 after she protested against the functioning of a coal mine on tribal land.

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