West Bengal, rapist of an elderly nun gets life in prison

Nazrul Islam is from Bangladesh.  Five other criminals sentenced to 10 years for theft. The superior of the convent of the Religious of Jesus and Mary of Ranaghat forgives the aggressors.

Calcutta (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Calcutta court has condemned Nazrul Islam, of Bangladeshi nationality, to life in prison for the rape of an elderly nun at the convent of the Religious of Jesus and Mary of Ranaghat in West Bengal two years ago. Judge Kumkum Sinha sentenced the other five criminals who on 13 March 2015 devastated and pillaged the chapel of the convent to 10 years in prison for theft.

The sentence was announced yesterday, one day after the court verdict that recognized the six accused as the perpetrators of aggression and robbery. Bishop Thomas D'Souza, Archbishop of Calcutta, said that what had happened to the religious "shook the people's consciousness and the Church took a long time to recover from the terrifying incident."

In March 2015, the armed group broke into the monastery looking for money. The superior tried to stop them but was raped. The attack was so brutal that the nun underwent several surgeries. She then left West Bengal and moved to New Delhi for security. Despite the trauma suffered, the superior had the courage to appear before the court and personally identify her attackers.

The Archdiocese of Calcutta welcomed the verdict. Vicar General, Fr. Dominic Gomes, reported that the victim, "in offering forgiveness, the nun did what she had learnt in her monastic life. But the law cannot be blind to crime. For society’s sake, the guilty must face punishment."