11/08/2017, 12.06
INDIA
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Calcutta tribunal condemns a Bangladeshi for the rape of an elderly nun

by Nirmala Carvalho

The Superior of the Religious Sisters of Jesus and Mary of Ranaghat was raped in March 2015. The Sister had tried to prevent a theft. Thieves desecrated the chapel of the convent. Four Bangladeshi and one Indian condemned for theft and criminal conspiracy. 

Calcutta (AsiaNews) - Calcutta court  has condemned a Bangladeshi citizen for the rape of the elderly religious of the convent of the Religious of Jesus and Mary of Ranaghat in West Bengal. The attack took place on March 13, 2015, during a robbery by a group of about eight people. Judge Kumkum Sinha described the incident as a "shame" for a state - such as West Bengal – which became famous for the example of Mother Teresa in loving service to the poor.

The judgment was pronounced yesterday and the sentence will be announced today. At the time of the attack, the nun was 72 years old. An armed group broke into the convent, inhabited by nuns operating the local school (highly respected by the population). After attacking the security guard, the criminals found a cash box. The superior tried to stop them but was raped. Afterwards, the criminals robbed and desecrated the chapel of the convent.

Investigations have found six men guilty. Five are Bangladeshi and one an Indian, Gopal Sarkar, who was responsible for hiding the accomplices in his home. The Bangladesh natives are: Milan Kumar Sarkar, Ohidul Islam, Mohd Selim Sheikh, Khaledar Rahman and Nazrul Islam. The latter is the only one guilty of the rape, while the others are accused of theft and criminal conspiracy.

At the beginning of the investigation, the trial took place in Ranaghat's local court. In May 2016, the High Court of Calcutta decided to transfer jurisdiction to the tribunal of the Calcutta session, accepting the request of the three sisters of the convent and of the raped superior. The sisters requested the transfer for fear of being identified during the proceedings. They said they feared for their own life because the accused had links with other criminals in Ranaghat. 

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