A Dutch Catholic missionary who has been working in the Kashmir valley for almost five decades has been asked to leave the country within seven days.
The Jammu & Kashmir government issued the deportation order for the second time to the Mill Hill missionary today.
The 79-year-old missionary received the first deportation order in last July months after the government had granted permission to extend his stay until 2014.
The deportation order has been issued based on charges of proselytism and conversions. Father Jim Borst, however, has denied any wrongdoing on his part.
Reporting on the order, Asia News said: “Since 1997, Fr Borst has run two schools in Kashmir. Both are called ‘School of the Good Shepherd’, one in Pulwama, the other in Shivpora, in Srinagar, where the staff is 99% Muslim. In the past, Fr. Borst led the St. Joseph School in Baramulla and the Burn Hall School in Srinagar.”
The Bishop of Jammu-Srinagar, Mgr. Peter Celestine has termed the charges against Fr. Borst as ‘fabricated and baseless.’
“Fr. Borst is a famous educator and his service has benefited the majority of the population of the state. For over 40 years he devoted himself selflessly to serving the community, without discrimination. His expulsion will be a loss for the entire civil society,” he was quoted as saying to Asia News.