Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday he was “deeply concerned” about the rape of an elderly nun, and the demolition of a church as protests for the better protection of women and religious minorities erupted across the country.
Modi has asked for an immediate report on the violence which occurred over the weekend, according to a statement.
There were angry scenes in parliament as legislators demanded to know why the man accused of rape had not been arrested.
Over the last few months, Modi has been criticised for being slow to condemn a series of attacks on Christian institutions, fuelling concern his Hindu nationalist government is failing to rein in Hindu zealots.
Modi in February pledged a crackdown on religious violence and freedom of worship for all faiths in the wake of a series of vandalism and arson attacks on religious institutions–most of which were in Delhi–since December.
The Indian prime minister faced criticism even then for not speaking out earlier despite growing concern at the actions of Hindu hardliners–including a spate of mass “re-conversions” of Christians and Muslims to Hinduism.
Outrage over the rape of the nun has reignited an angry debate about the safety of women.
“We all feel ashamed, never before could this have been imagined, we have never heard of such things,” said Mohammed Salim, a member of the lower house of parliament. “And despite that, after 70 hours no arrests have been made.”