07/16/2013, 00.00
INDIA

Card. Gracias: Rape of Orissa nun, act of terrorism against humanity

Nirmala Carvalho
The president of the Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) condemns violence against religious belonging to the Franciscan Missionaries of St Joseph. The cardinal criticizes "the apathy of the government agencies and the slowness of justice system", perceived as "a further debasement of the victims.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "I condemn this gang rape of this young nun in the strongest possible terms.  This is gang rape is physical and emotional terrorism against our woman" Card. Oswald Gracias, president of the Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) tells AsiaNews reacting to the attack on a nun in Orissa. The religious of the Franciscan Missionaries of St. Joseph, lived in Chennai (Tamil Nadu) to continue her studies.

"This violation of our young woman religious - said the cardinal - is evil act inflicted on this woman religious who has consecrated  her life to God Rape is an abhorrent crime and an abominable transgression against the honour of women and reflects abysmal state of women in  our society, community and nation".

Considering the dynamics of the attack, the cardinal stressed that "this wasn't a random act of barbarism, it was meticulously planned allegedly as an act of retaliation and this heightens the gravity of the deplorable and utterly reprehensible crime."

"The apathy of government agencies - he added - is appalling, there is a serious break down of law and order situation in Kandhamal, this was not an isolated violation, last October, two thirteen year old Christian girls were gang raped in Kandhamal. Undeniably, increasing number of rape cases has become a serious social problem. Atrocities against women , unsafe environment, eroding the rule of law are a shameful blot on our nation".

The slowness of the machinery of justice, noted Card. Gracias, "is perceived at times as devaluating the victims and increases their trauma by marginalizing  the victims.  Justice continues to evade Sr Meena Barwa." Sister Barwa, the Servite religious, 30, was raped and humiliated by Hindu extremists during the pogroms in Orissa in August 2008. The police arrested 22 people. Of these, 17 were able to get out on bail.

 

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