Catholic nun hacked to death for taking on coal mafia

Sr. Valsa John
Sr. Valsa John: Felled for a cause!
Sr. Valsa John

CATHOLIC nun Sister Valsa John (52), who led a movement against displacement of tribal people by coal mining companies in Jharkhand, was killed on Nov 16.

The killing occurred at Bachuwari village of Pakur district, 430 km from Ranchi. The police suspect that a coal mafia is behind it.

According to The Hindu, 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.

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

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

Her protest was against mining corporations that were allegedly exploiting the tribal people of the Pakur region.

The Catholic Church has appealed to the government for an investigation.

Superintendent of Police Amarnath Khanna said: “We’re investigating. Only after a detailed investigation can we provide a clear picture… Three years ago she had filed an FIR, wherein she reported that she was facing death threats. But she didn’t mention any name.”

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