Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed deep concern over the gangrape of an elderly nun in West Bengal and the attack on a church in Haryana, as he sought immediate reports on these incidents.
"PM is deeply concerned about the incidents in Hisar, Haryana and Nadia, West Bengal," the PMO tweeted.
"PMO has asked for immediate report on facts & action taken regarding the incidents in Haryana & West Bengal," it said in another tweet, amid growing concerns over the security of Christians.
In Bengal, a 71-year-old nun was allegedly gangraped by dacoits in Nadia district in the early hours of Saturday, in an incident that sparked protests across the state and prompted the state government to order a CID probe into the incident.
In another incident, an under-construction church in Kaimri village near Hisar, Haryana, was vandalised by a group and the cross was replaced with an idol of Hanuman on Sunday, triggering tension in the area.
Both incidents triggered a nationwide outrage, with the Christian community taking to the streets to stage demonstrations.
Hundreds of priests, schoolgirls and civilians took out a rally on Monday in Kolkata to protest against the assault on the elderly nun. Angry protesters, demanding justice for the victim, also blocked West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's convoy when she visited Ranaghat.
In the church attack case, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday told the state assembly that the building was reportedly built in an illegal colony and the dispute was the result of an altercation between the priest and those who attacked the place of worship. Making a statement in the state assembly, Khattar said that an FIR had been registered against the accused on the statement of church priest Subhash Chander.
In February, PM Modi had broken his silence over religious tension in India following mounting criticism that the safety of religious minorities was being increasingly targeted after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power.
Modi's comments came after US President Barack Obama called for religious tolerance in a speech wrapping up his recent visit, saying India would not succeed if it was splintered along religious lines.