Friday, October 03, 2008

Report confirming nun’s rape sits for 38 days before Orissa police pick it up

Baliguda (Kandhamal), October 2 A full 38 days after a Catholic nun was brutally assaulted and then, by her own admission, “paraded naked” by a mob in Kandhamal district, the Orissa police found time only today to collect the medical examination report that confirmed she was raped.

This, when the police station is right across the hospital where the report sat since August 25. That was the day the 29-year-old nun, who worked as an administrator at Divyajyoti Pastoral Centre at Kanjamendi village, was dragged out of a house, along with 55-year-old priest Father Thomas Chellantharayil.

The Indian Express accessed the FIR (written in English) which the nun filed (Case no 70/2008) with the local Baliguda police station on August 26. The FIR reads: “...40 armed men arrived at Divyajyoti Pastoral Centre on August 24, me and the Father (Father Thomas) jumped over the boundary and ran to a nearby forest. They were shouting Bharat mata ki jai. They burnt the centre...The next day, we concealed ourselves in the house of Prahallad Pradhan of K Nuagaon but at 1 pm the mob found us and dragged me and Father out. They took me to Jan Vikash (a local Christian NGO that was deserted) and made me naked. There one of them raped me. After that, they paraded me naked on the street and took me to an official at K Nuagaon.”

The nun did not name anyone but said she could identify the victims if they were brought before her. The incident occurred while 12 policemen of Orissa State Armed Police — wielding SLRs — camped in a school in front of the NGO.

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