The nun earlier identified correctly three accused persons

The Orissa crime branch police, probing the Kandhamal nun rape case, seem to have suffered a setback when the Baliguda Catholic Church nun once again failed to identify the accused during a parade held in the Choudwar jail here on Saturday.

Three persons arrested recently were lined up along with 30 dummies in three rows and the nun was asked to identify the accused. The dummies were inmates of the Choudwar jail having almost similar status and physique as those of the accused.

According to reliable sources, the nun pointed out only one person but he turned out to be a ‘dummy,'— an inmate of the local jail.

Similarly, the priest of the Church, a key witness, identified two persons and he too erred; pointing out the dummies, the sources said.

However, crime branch officials are tightlipped. Investigating officer Dillip Mohanty refused to confirm anything, simply saying that he had been instructed by his seniors not to disclose anything about the identification parade.

The nun correctly identified three accused persons in two Test Identification (TI) parades held on January 5 and June 23 last year. She, however, pointed out a dummy in the first TI parade, while the priest failed to identify any of the nine arrested persons from among 90 dummies.

The nun was allegedly assaulted and raped under the staircase of the Baliguda-based Jana Vikash Kendra in Kandhamal district on August 25, 2008 during the communal riots which erupted after the murder of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his disciples.

On Saturday, the identification parade was planned as the arrested persons were shifted to the local jail to face trial in the case which was held earlier this week in the Cuttack district sessions court.

The parades and the trial are now being held in Cuttack following orders from the Orissa High Court, which allowed the plea of the victim that she was feeling “unsafe” to go to strife-torn Kandhamal district to face the trial and participate in the parade.

  • Three persons held recently were lined up along with 30 dummies
  • Nun pointed out only one but he turned out to be a dummy