Congress asks Kerala women’s panel chief to step down

June 6th, 2008 - 8:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, June 6 (IANS) State Congress chief Ramesh Chennithala Friday asked Kerala State Women’s Commission chairperson Justice D. Sreedevi to quit after the panel decided to recommend a minimum age for girls to become nuns. Chennithala termed the recommendation as the latest instance of the Left government using its power and clout over government-controlled bodies to hit out at the minorities.

“What the commission failed to realise is that the rules are very clear on the procedures to be followed for a girl to become a nun. It is based on the Canon Law and not on other guidelines. This is a clear case of infringing upon the religious beliefs of the Christians,” Chennithala told reporters.

Sreedevi had, earlier this week, made recommendations to the state government to frame laws to set a minimum age for girls to become nuns.

“The commission is well within its rights to take up complaints but they have no business to make recommendations on areas which they have no right to touch upon. For long, the Left government has been targeting the minority communities in the state with draconian laws and the classic case was when it targeted Church-run educational institutions,” said Chennithala.

The Catholic Church has said that only girls who pass class 12 will be admitted to the fold as nuns.

“Sreedevi should first apologise to the Christian community and then step down as chairperson (of the commission),” said Chennithala.

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