03/15/2014, 00.00
INDIA

Orissa, ruling on raped nun "example of collusion between the state and Hindu extremists "

Nirmala Carvalho
Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC ) comments to AsiaNews. Of the nine defendants, the court charged only three, acquitting the other six . "Minimizing this violence violates all constitutional guarantees".

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - A verdict that clearly shows "the connivance and support of public officials of the deliberate violence by Hindu fundamentalists", says Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), commenting to AsiaNews on the Cuttack Court judgment on the case of Sister Meena Barwa, raped and humiliated by a dozen people during the pogroms in Kandhamal (Orissa), in 2008.

Nine men were tried for the violence committed against the woman religious however, the courts convicted only three of them, giving fully acquitting the other six. A tenth person identified by the victim was never arrested. "We are shocked and dismayed by the light  verdict  delivered today by the Cuttack District Sessions Court" - stated Sajan George - "It is really a travesty of justice. The nun was attacked, gang-raped and paraded semi-naked through the streets in Kandhamal district of Odisha which incident had indeed shaken up the conscience of the entire nation. The whole incident was published in almost all the newspapers in the country with very clear details".

In this sense, says the president of the GCIC, "the court verdict clearly shows the callousness of the prosecution in the horrendous sexual assault, the failure at various levels, including documenting, reporting, investigating, charging and prosecuting the cases, is abundantly clear from the verdict". According to Sajan George the case "clearly indicates an institutional prejudice against the Christian community. Minimizing sexual violence against women is a deliberate dereliction of constitutionally mandated duties and violates constitutional guarantees".

 

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See also
Orissa: raped nun forgives aggressors and recounts her sufferings
07/12/2011
Hindu extremist who raped Sister Meena arrested
14/06/2010
Supreme Court tells Orissa to ensure Christians’ safety
07/01/2009
Indian commission investigating anti-Christian pogrom in Orissa
13/11/2008
Orissa pogrom: three convicted, six acquitted of gang rape of Sister Meena Barwa
14/03/2014