May 2003 News

After Grenade Attack, Nun Doesn't Want To Stay In J-K

22 May 2003
The Indian Express

Srinagar: Laid up in the emergency ward of the Kashmir's premier Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences at Soura with splinter injuries all over, 25-year-old Mary Sipkota from West Bengal can't wait to get better. One of the two teachers from St Lukes, a Protestant Mission school, in Nai Basti, Sipkota survived a grenade attack by unidentified persons last night at Anantnag. Her friend Kamlesh wasn't so lucky - she died on the spot. And now she wants to leave the Valley as soon as possible. 'We left our campus at St Lukes at around 7.15pm to go to a phone booth. We wanted to call our homes in West Bengal and just then a grenade hit us from nowhere,' Sipkota says. Guarded by two policemen, Sipkota says: 'I came to Kashmir in 2000 and served as a teacher in the school. I don't know why this attack happened but we were not involved in any conversions. Earlier we were never bothered. People here have been good to us. But after this attack I just want to flee away from Kashmir. I would never come back to Kashmir,' she says. When contacted, Anantnag Senior Superintendent of Police Munir Khan said the incident is being investigated. 'The school principal told us that the attack has nothing to with militancy,' Senior Superintendent of Police Khan added. Yesterday's attack on the teachers was preceded by a grenade attack on Good Shepherd School in Pulwama, South Kashmir, but no injuries were reported. Militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba had recently warned evangelists and neo-converts in the Valley to desist from their activities. The Muslim clergy has also been warning people against evangelists. Hurriyat leaders had also spoken of the issue recently. Reports in Christianity Today, a magazine, say there are thousands of neo-converts in rural Kashmir who, according to the magazine, are disillusioned with Islam.


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