Mumbai (AsiaNews) - A group of about eight individuals broke into the Jesus and Mary Convent in Ranagath, West Bengal, to carry out a robbery. The convent's 72-year-old superior tried to stop them but was attacked and raped. The thieves also beat up three other elderly sisters. All the victims are currently in hospital.
Shocked by the incident, local residents took to the streets to demand justice. For their part, the authorities described the attack as a "heinous crime" caused by "a desire to destabilise the state".
The robbery took place late last night when a group of armed individuals broke into the monastery, home to nuns who run a local school (highly regarded by local residents).
After overpowering the security guard, the criminals found a box with money. When the superior tried to stop them, she was raped.
Local government and police officials confirmed the attack. "It was a rape against humanity. We stand by the Sisters and we will give them every possible help," the Minister for Urban Development said.
"We will identify the culprits who must be punished. Things like this never happened before in the State," said Mgr Thomas D'Souza, archbishop of Kolkata.
Not long after the incident, students and parents took to the streets in protest. Other residents joined them. Together, they blocked roads and highways calling on the government to provide swift justice for the violated nuns.
Investigators are currently still at the scene.