Forty-eight hours after the alleged rape of a 70-year-old nun at Ranaghat in West Bengal’s Nadia district, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee admitted here on Monday that there was a delay in locating and arresting the culprits.
“We will definitely nab the culprits. But to know their whereabouts and under whose shelter they are hiding, a clue is needed. It is taking some time to find the clue,” Ms. Banerjee told journalists here before leaving for Ranaghat.
Providing another reason for the delay in the arrests, she said “precautionary measures” were also taken by the culprits.
Ms. Banerjee asserted that her government was monitoring the Ranaghat situation following the brutal rape and assault of a nun in the Convent of Jesus and Mary and had deployed a high-level team of investigators.
“We have sent the highest level team there that includes the Additional Director-General of Police [Law and Order] as well as the full expert team of the Criminal Investigation Department,” she said.
The Chief Minister criticised a section of the media for unilaterally announcing that she would visit Ranaghat during the day. “This is a very sensitive issue and such unilateral announcements by the media, without checking with me, unduly raise the expectation of the people,” she said. Pointing out that her initial plan was to visit Ranaghat on Tuesday, Ms. Banerjee accused the media of upsetting the whole programme.
The Archbishop of Kolkata Thomas D’Souza expressed his unhappiness over the slow pace of the ongoing probe. The Archbishop, who participated in a rally in the city , said, “The detention of eight persons was a very bright start. But we are not happy yet because not much headway has been made in this regard. ..48 hours have passed, so where are the arrests?” he asked.
Inside job? The assault and theft however, has raised several questions. Local residents and a group of parents suggest that dacoits could not have scaled a 10-foot wall and taken the three nuns, specially the sister who was in charge of finances who was later raped, across several rooms to look for money without inside information.
(With additional inputs from PTI)