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Mob blocks Mamata's convoy over nun gangrape

3/17/2015 12:55:30 AM

Soumitra Nandi
Kolkata:
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s convoy was blocked by angry protesters for nearly an hour demanding immediate arrest of culprits in the gangrape of the nun of a convent school at Ranaghat in Nadia district on Friday night. A nun in her 70s was gang-raped by a group of bandits when she tried to prevent them from robbing a Christian missionary school.

According to police sources, the robbers tied the school’s security guards with ropes and entered the nuns’ room, where the women were sleeping. They took one of the nuns to another room when she tried to block their way and then raped her. Then they decamped with some cash, a cellphone, a laptop computer and a camera, all belonging to the school.

Banerjee, had gone to Ranaghat in Nadia district on Monday to meet the victim at the hospital and also the officials of the Church and the school, where the incident occurred. The CM faced angry protesters, comprising students and local people, who surrounded her convoy.
The protesters squatted on the National Highway 34 demanding immediate arrest of the culprits. As the protesters refused to let Banerjee’s convoy pass through the NH 34, an angry Banerjee who sat in the car came out and said, “The unfortunate incident is being politicised. This is a conspiracy on the part of the CPI-M and BJP who are trying  to stop the administration from arresting the real culprits.

“In the name of rally and protest, some political people made inroads here. Missionaries are for peace. Don’t malign the movement of the missionaries,” she said.

Senior police officials, including DGP G M P Reddy, and district police officials were caught completely off guard as hundreds of students and locals gheraoed the convoy accusing the police of inaction and demanding immediate arrest. The students carried placards which said, “We want justice” and “hang the rapists”. 

Officials pleaded before the protestors with folded hands; however, the protesters turned a deaf ear. After nearly an hour, the convoy was seen moving again.

“We will take strong action against the culprits. I believe the culprits should be hanged. I went to visit the Sister. She is now stable. I have also talked with the Archbishop,” she said.

Meanwhile, the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) which has been probing the incident, on Monday released sketches of seven accused.

The sleuths had collected the CCTV footage of the convent on the basis of which they made the sketch. However, the eight persons who were detained on Sunday o suspicion ground were given a clean chit during the course of investigation on Monday. 

The sketches were circulated among the railway police for putting it up at different stations, among the BSF who man the border area and also to the anti dacoity section of the city police in Kolkata. The district police chief Arnab Ghosh on Saturday had announced cash reward of Rs 1 lakh for the person who would help in nabbing or identifying the bandits.

Investigations revealed that the school had terminated three of the security guards over the last few months. An unanimous threat call of teaching the authorities a lesson was also made some time back.
Meanwhile, to extend solidarity to the victim who is still in hospital the Christian community in Kolkata took part in a gathering at Allen’s Park in Park Street.

Condemning the incident the Archbishop of Kolkata Thomas D Souza said,” We appreciate the chief minister’s handing over the probe to the CID immediately after the incident took place. But I have come to know that the eight persons who were detained on Sunday is not at all linked to the crime. We want action, the real culprits should be booked then only we will be satisfied. 

Candles were lit all around the park as people from all communities took part and held a silent rally around the park.

The central home department has sought a detailed report  from the state regarding the incident of loot and rape at the convent at Ranaghat in Nadia district on Friday night.

The report should state why the septuagenarian nun was gangraped. The report must also state whether there was sufficient security arrangement at the convent school. It should further state what measures the state government has taken so that such type of incidents do not occur in future.
The state has also been directed to maintain law and order situation in the area.

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