Nun Gang-Raped in Eastern India Speaks Out

October 27, 2008 at 2:55 am Leave a comment

A Nun in eastern India has spoken out for the first time on live
television about allegations she was gang-raped by more than 40 men in
August, accusing police of complicity in Hindu attacks on Christians.


A string of attacks on Christians by Hindus over the controversial
issue of conversions in poor tribal areas has killed at least 37 people
in the past two months, mainly in Orissa state where most of the
violence is concentrated.

“State police failed to stop the crimes, failed to protect me from the attackers, they were friendly with the attackers,” Sister Meena told a news conference on Friday.

The
nun’s case became part of the wider controversy surrounding the
violence, which sparked an international outcry and drew strong
condemnation from Pope Benedict.

Her face covered by a black
scarf, and scarcely looking at the cameras, she gave a blow-by-blow
account of a case that has become emblematic of the religious violence
that has rocked three states.

The nun’s statement came two days after the Supreme Court denied her appeal to order a federal police probe into the case.

Nine people have been arrested so far, and an identity parade is ready
to be set up, but the nun has refused to cooperate with Orissa police,
saying she does not have faith in them.

One officer has already been suspended in the case for dereliction of duty.

In her statement, Sister Meena
said she was dragged out of the house where she was sheltering by armed
men who first threatened to decapitate her or burn her alive. She was
then taken to a deserted building nearby.

“They pulled out my
saree and one of them stepped on my right hand and another on my left
hand and then a third person raped me on the verandah,” she said.

After
she was paraded to a nearby market she pleaded the police to help, but
“they did not move”, and later tried to stop her writing a full police
complaint, asking her if she knew “what will be the consequence” of
filing it.

Both India’s central government and Christian leaders have accused the Orissa state government of turning a blind eye.

Orissa police came under fire for ignoring a medical report into the case that authorities said confirmed a rape took place.

Human
rights groups and government ministers suspect militant Hindu groups
were responsible for stoking the religious violence to shore up their
vote base ahead of elections in 2009.

Hindu groups denied
this, and blamed the clashes on the murder of a prominent Hindu
missionary and vocal opponent of Christian proselytising.

On
Tuesday, hundreds of women from the Rashtriya Sevika Samiti – a group
that forms part of the hardline Hindu Sangh Parivar – staged a protest
in Orissa’s capital Bhubaneswar, demanding the nun be arrested for
lying about her rape.

Orissa police say the situation is slowly returning to normal in the state.

Source: News Australia

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Entry filed under: Christian, World. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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