The alleged >rape of a 70-year-old nun by dacoits at a school at Ranaghat in Nadia district of West Bengal on Saturday triggered protests and outrage across the State.
The district police said a group of dacoits barged into Convent of Jesus and Mary in the early hours and gang-raped her when she tried to resist them. She has been admitted to hospital. Her condition is stable, doctors said.
Protests erupted in various parts of the district and people blocked roads and the rail track.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was criticised in the past for being insensitive to such crimes, was prompt in taking action this time. She spoke to Archbishop of Kolkata Thomas D’ Souza and ordered a probe by the Criminal Investigation Department. “We have ordered a CID probe into the Ranaghat Convent incident… Swift, strongest action to be taken,” she said on a social networking site.
However, some Ministers tried to impute a motive to the incident, saying it was aimed at maligning the image of the ruling Trinamool Congress and creating a divide among religious communities.
Archbishop D’ Souza said that about six persons forcibly entered the school and ransacked the principal’s office. “A grave injustice has been done to one of the sisters,” he said. The police were scanning the images of the close circuit television cameras in the school.
Leader of the Opposition and Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra expressed concern at the increasing number of crimes against women in the State, referring to another gang-rape of a minor reported during the day in South 24 Parganas.
Inhuman act: CBCI
Special Correspondent reports from New Delhi:
Shaken by the rape of an ailing 75-year-old nun at Jesus & Mary School in Nadia district of West Bengal, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) urged Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday to provide security to religious institutions and take action against the culprits.
In a statement, CBCI president Cardinal Baselios Cleemis said the physical violence inflicted on the nuns, including the rape, and the desecration of the “consecrated Hosts” were ruthless inhuman acts of which all Indian citizens should be ashamed of.