Catholic schools remain closed

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TO THWART VANDALISM: Police on guard outside the Loreto Convent in Lucknow on Monday after activists of the BJYM went on a rampage on Sunday.
TO THWART VANDALISM: Police on guard outside the Loreto Convent in Lucknow on Monday after activists of the BJYM went on a rampage on Sunday.

Special Correspondent

Arrested Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha activists released on bail

  • Parents visit Loreto Convent to express solidarity with management
  • Congress Legislature Party leader Pramod Tiwari demands CBI inquiry into incident
  • Government orders probe into `séance' at school

    LUCKNOW: Sixteen Catholic schools and some other Christian institutions of Lucknow remained closed on Monday in protest against the acts of vandalism at the Loreto Convent School by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) activists on Sunday.

    The three BJYM activists arrested were released on bail. Police said they were not directly involved in the act.

    There was a heavy police presence in the school, and it will be maintained when it reopens on Tuesday.

    Other Christian institutions would also reopen on Tuesday as many of them are having their mid-term examinations.

    St. Francis College, Cathedral School, St Paul's College, St. Dominic School, St. Francis (Nigohan), St. Agnes School, St. Mary's School, Stella Maris School, Nirmala School, Jeevan Dhara School, St. Anne's School, St. Clara, St. Peter's School, St. Thomas School, St. Xavier's and Assembly of God School were the institutions that remained closed.

    Congress Legislature Party leader Pramod Tiwari visited the Loreto school to meet the management on Monday.

    Talking to newspersons, Mr. Tiwari blamed the Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party for the vandalism. He demanded a CBI inquiry into the incident and said a judicial probe should also be ordered into the `seance' in the school premises on September 6 that provoked the vandalism.

    Some parents visited the school to express their solidarity with the management and the school's principal, Sister Monica.

    A Home Department spokesman said at the regular press briefing that the Government had ordered an inquiry into the `seance' on the school's premises. A three-member probe team would talk to teachers, students, the Principal and parents of students who attended it.

    Parents' allegation

    PTI adds:

    The decision to conduct a probe was taken after allegations by parents that some students fainted during the `seance,' held to invoke the spirit of Jesus Christ. The parents complained that the `seance' was reportedly witnessed by hundreds of students, besides staff members.

    However, school authorities denied holding a `séance' and said a few students had fainted due to the sultry weather during a prayer session, where participation was voluntary.

    Catholic Association secretary Father Paul Rodrigues said the association would hold an emergency meeting in Allahabad on September 20 to discuss the attack on the school and formulate its next strategy.

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