Valsha John axed to death

Valsha John received death threats from mining mafia

Valsha John received death threats from mining mafia

Valsha John, a nun from Kerala, who spearheaded an anti-displacement movement against a private coal mining company at Pachwara village in Pakur district, was hacked to death by unidentified assailants here.

“She was beaten with sticks and then axed to death at around 11.30 pm on Tuesday. An FIR has been filed against unknown men,” Pakur Superintendent of Police Amarnath Khanna told reporters here.

Valsha (52), a member of the Sisters of Charity Jesus and Mary congregation for the last 24 years, had led a protest against coal mining by a company three years ago, he added.

According to locals, the stir began after villagers feared displacement following coal mining.

“She was away from the village for sometime and some villagers protested when she returned in the first week of November. Only after a probe can we give some details,” the SP added.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (Santhal Pargana) V K Pandey said the police suspect that reports of her subsequent withdrawal from the stir might have been the reason behind the incident.

John had told her family here that she faced death threats from mining mafia, one of her brothers said.

52-year-old Valsa hailing from Vazhala in Ernakulam District had told the family during her last visit in August about the death threats from the coal mining mafia against whom she had fought to protect the tribal community, her younger brother Baby told reporters here.

He said the family was shocked by the death Valsa had spoken to her elder sister here over phone last evening and discussed some problems faced by her.

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