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Indian nun brutally murdered; coal-mining interests suspected

Catholic World News - November 17, 2011

A Catholic nun who had worked for 20 years among impoverished among the poor in India’s mineral-rich Jharkhand state has been brutally murdered, after a series of clashes with powerful coal-mining interests.

Sister Valsa John, of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary, was killed by unidentified men who knocked on her door at midnight on November 15, then beat her with sticks and hacked her with axes before ending her life with a gunshot.

Sister John had been living alone in a hut in the remote Bachuwari village, working for poor tribal minorities who complained that they were exploited by coal-mining firms. She had received numerous death threats.

“We are shocked by this murder,” Bishop Julius Marandi of Dumka told CWN. But the bishop added: “Her martyrdom strengthens and renews the Church's mission in India."

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