Nun rape: 3 convicted, 6 acquitted
A district court in Cuttack, Odisha on Friday convicted three people and acquitted six others in the 2008 Kandhamal nun gangrape case.
Two days after communal riots broke out over the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati, on Aug 25, 2008, a case of rape of a Christian nun was reported.
The incident took place at K. Nuagaon in Kandhamal district.
While a police complaint was lodged soon afterwards, no action was taken for over a month, adding to accusations of police misconduct.
Police sources said: "Though the nun had denied the rape allegation during recording of her statement, she later given a written complaint alleging that she was raped by one person from among the mob".
During a press conference she said that a group of unidentified persons, dragged her along with Fr Thomas Chellan to the deserted Jana Vikas building.
The priest was doused with petrol and beaten up.
She reported that the mob paraded her on the streets in the presence of a dozen policemen.
Eventually, four men were arrested for the attack, and a senior police office suspended over the delayed investigation.
After the complaint was launched, police had a medical examination of the nun carried out, which showed she had been raped.
Police sent the clothes of the said nun to the state forensic laboratory for further verification.
Police arrested nine people in connection with the crime while the nun in case was in hiding for fear of reprisals.
The Crime Branch took charge of the probe following a government decision after the medical report.
On Oct 22, 2008, the Supreme Court of India, rejected an appeal by the Archbishop of Cuttack, Raphael Cheenath, for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the incident and asked the victim to look at an identity parade of those accused to identify the culprit with the help of the state police itself.
(Posted on 14-03-2014)