Nun gangrape: Eight persons detained, demand for ‘extreme punishment’

Aggrieved guardians of students began blocking the arterial NH 34 and Sealdah-Ranaghat rail tracks from 12 noon.

By: Associated Press Written by Arshad Ali | Kolkata | Updated: March 15, 2015 10:25 pm
nun rape, nun gangraped, nun rape, nun gangrape, 71 year old nun rape, convent nun rape, rape in WB, nun rape in Bengal Students of Convent of Jesus and Mary School participate in a protest against the gang rape of a nun in her 70s by a group of bandits when she tried to prevent them from robbing the Christian missionary school in Begopara, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal state, Saturday, March 14, 2015. The nun was hospitalized in serious condition after the attack, which was committed by seven or eight men. The woman who was attacked is either 71 or 72 and is the oldest nun at the school, a police officer said. (Source: AP)

THIRTY-SIX hours after the alleged rape of a 71-year-old nun at a missionary school in Ranaghat in West Bengal’s Nadia district, none of the suspects has been held despite CCTV footage identifying them. Police have not been able to establish the identities of the attackers either.

Nadia SP Arnab Ghosh said they had detained eight persons and were interrogating them, refusing to reveal more.

Another senior police official said that of the eight detainees, one appeared to be part of those captured on CCTV. Photographs of the suspects have been sent to BSF outposts near the border too in order to ensure they didn’t escape.

Around 12 armed men had raided the Christian missionary school in the early hours of Saturday and allegedly raped a 71-year-old nun and assaulted two others. The gang is also alleged to have desecrated the school’s chapel.

The condition of the nun who was said to have been raped is now stable.


Archbishop of Kolkata Thomas D’Souza said there was a growing sense of insecurity among the 600-odd Christian families in the area. Pointing out that the closest police station was 6 km away, he demanded that a police post be set up nearby.

READ MORE: Nun Rape Case: Trinamool, BJP pass the buck

About the church attack being linked to previous incidents in Delhi and Bangalore, D’Souza said, “Anything is possible. Nothing can be ruled out, but until police make some arrests, nothing can be said for sure as well.”

Nadia District Magistrate P B Salim denied there had been any request for security by school authorities. “Police intervention had been sought for a problem which was immediately looked into. But there was no requisition to provide security personnel,” he said.

Christians of the area who came to the school to express solidary on Sunday said they were nervous. Leena D Rozario, a senior member of the area’s parish committee, said their children studied in the same school and could be the next target.

Ranaghat — about 200 km from Kolkata — has a large concentration of Christians, mostly converts from Hinduism.


“There are so many unanswered questions. Why would the offenders, after looting the money, go on to vandalise the church or rape a septuagenarian nun? And when the men can be identified on CCTV, why have there been no arrests?” said Rozario.

Herod Mullick, state working president of the Bangiya Christiya Pariseba (state forum of all Christian denominations, east and northeast partner of All India Christian Council), said the attack appeared part of a trend. “It is evident that the attackers had a motive other than robbing the place. There are similarities to incidents in Delhi and Bangalore,” he said.

Actor Locket Chatterjee, who recently joined the BJP, and leader of Opposition, the CPM’s Suryakanta Mishra, were not allowed to enter the church premises, with police saying they did not have the required permission.

An angry parish priest, Suraj Biswas, said they wouldn’t allow any politician in. “If they want to express solidarity, they should come without a party flag. There will be a candlelight march tomorrow and on Wednesday, a rally of members from several minority communities, at Esplanade,” he said.

BJP district president Kalyan Kumar Nandi said fingers shouldn’t be pointed at the party for the attack. “We demand the strictest punishment for whoever responsible irrespective of their political affiliation. If need be, a CBI probe should be held. Some leaders are trying to portray it as a deed of the BJP and RSS. I want to tell them that there are a huge number of Christians living peacefully in places like Goa and Chhattisgarh.”

National Institute for Gender Justice chairperson Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury, who visited the attacked church, said she would be giving a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “How can so many persons enter the place and no patrolling car notice it? The state police is not capable of an inquiry. I would recommend an inquiry by a central agency,” she said.

The attack is reported to have lasted over three hours, from 1:30 am to about 5 am. According to sources, the gang first ransacked the school office before breaking into the convent.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App now

  1. T
    Tania Majumdar
    Feb 9, 2016 at 9:01 pm
    Those people are not captured but some of them fled to Bangladesh ... one one of them is cough in the border.
    1. H
      Haradhan Mandal
      Mar 15, 2015 at 10:10 pm
      Democracy (as a means of self-governance by/for/of the poor and weak people) is not suitable for all 'Culture' and 'Gene' types! (Parliamentary) Democracy is suitable ONLY for Western Europe and their erstwhile colonies like USA, Canada etc (and same type of advanced societies) . Even after so many rapes, gang-rapes , gruesome dacoity and murders , communal riots and m-murders - people are repeatedly voting for anarchy and lawless rule by despots mafia-politicians, and communal, sectarian, caste-chauvinist/supremacists leaders and rulers!
      1. M
        Mar 16, 2015 at 1:35 am
        Why to Vatican ? India is not their country? If ur mother, wife or sister is raped you plan on sending them somewhere too?
        1. V
          Mar 15, 2015 at 3:14 pm
          Are nuns, Christian religious workers, special citizens of this country for the media? Are they not Indians ? Or they are above everyone else and any crime committed on them should get such a huge coverage ? I am getting sick of media and their biases
          1. V
            Mar 14, 2015 at 8:17 pm
            Mamata must have ordered probe after gerting a confirmation that TMC goons are not involved in this case. That moron Derek Obrien is keeping quite
            1. A
              Mar 16, 2015 at 12:48 pm
              heard she ped away.....may her soul rest in peace............and may all those who are directly and indirectly involved face god's power ....and have god's wrath on them and there families......
              1. A
                Mar 18, 2015 at 2:36 pm
                No one will get justice government
                1. A
                  Ashley Fernandes
                  Mar 15, 2015 at 10:46 pm
                  we have seen two terms of BJP ruling our state Goa, we never had any problems ,so please do not blame the party, let the matter be investigated properly.
                  1. A
                    Mar 15, 2015 at 8:48 am
                    Abrahamic religions will say this was God's plan. Hinduism will call it karmic retribution. Either way. . that loaf of bread should not have been thrown down.
                    1. B
                      brad t
                      Mar 15, 2015 at 2:23 pm
                      President Obama during the US hollywood oscar show appeared in a pre taped video urging hollywood to help influence the end to domestic violence in the USA.... I hope the leaders in India can do the same to Bollywood.... Bollywood has in the last few years evolved to be much like hollywood in its ually objectifying women..... Since Bollywood ha such a huge influence in India, I imagine the objectifying of women has trickled down and the poorest young men in some way or another feel that these rape actions on women is somehow ok and worth the risk of death or jail. Bollywood... please .. we likede you a lot better 20years ago (at least i did)... you dont need the trendy mtv with the half naked girls....
                      1. K
                        Mar 14, 2015 at 8:04 pm
                        When a lady complained about Rape in Kolkata, Mamta mentioned that she was there to malign her government. When the Nun got raped, Mamta is paying attention to the crime. Mamta has totally lost any ability to govern Waste Bengal, she should quit and let the Presidential rule take effect.
                        1. S
                          Mar 15, 2015 at 9:20 pm
                          Mamta didi kuch karo warna your days are numbered. Mamta has destro WB.
                          1. D
                            Mar 15, 2015 at 4:02 pm
                            Its too much, raping a 72 years old woman, we never had this kind of issue 10 years back in Bengal. I don't know where we are heading. God bless West Bengal
                            1. D
                              Dr Anisetti
                              Mar 15, 2015 at 4:22 am
                              In the past West Bengal was on head lines for good deeds by great pioneers in every walk of life, be it health sciences, spiritual, politics, science, music, magic and what not. Alas! the name of Bengal is in crime and other reports. I was in Calcutta during the period between 1965 and 1995. The locals are well cultured and well mannered. Most of the crimes are committed by the migrant people from neibouring Indian states or countries and who are criminal minded and do not have self respect and do not feel to commit crime and bring bad name to the land.
                              1. S
                                SM Mohan
                                Mar 14, 2015 at 9:46 pm
                                No doubt, it is the most heinous crime particularly keeping in view of the age of the victim and also her God-serving nature as a nun. Culprits deserve most severe punishment. The state and central government should act most quickly and book the beasts in the form of human beings who committed this crime and courts should award exemplary punishment to them.
                                1. A
                                  Mar 15, 2015 at 10:17 pm
                                  This sounds like terrorists but Mamta Banerjee will be held responsible ........... Does POPE have to make any comment? ............................ HANG them all ........ will be least PUNISHMENT .........................................
                                  1. G
                                    Mar 15, 2015 at 8:55 am
                                    So my dad lives in the area. Now will you claim he is behind the rape?
                                    1. G
                                      Mar 15, 2015 at 8:35 pm
                                      Really sad...some of the comments...I doubt some of you ever had mothers or sister...else you wouldn't talk like this...who cares if she's a nun or not....71 years old....and she was brutalized in a way that you would nt wish on anyone....the ones who comment pure venom over here without thinking should be castrated...the lot of you
                                      1. H
                                        Mar 15, 2015 at 1:34 pm
                                        humanity comes to end, survive the India & indian culture
                                        1. H
                                          Mar 15, 2015 at 11:39 am
                                          By taking marches (American style) or "SAY NO TO THIS OR THAT", Candle Light marches, Placing flowers on crime sites WONT SOLVE ANY PROBLEMS....Our youngsters must realise that....Lynching Nagaland is the only way...LOOK at the ic COURTS and FIRs etc....cases run thro' decades....Punsih Rapists by KILLING them in public. All the comments below "...should be punished...vestigations, committees is ALL NONSENSE....Jusat ask the victim and her parents how they feel ??? All the STUPID IC TV DISCUSSIONS END UP NO WHERE....That Arnab Goswami of Time Now goes berserk and act as if he if the MULLAH of justice...he should SHUT UP....
                                          1. I
                                            Mar 15, 2015 at 10:44 am
                                            Crime is a crime and the culprits should be punished. Few years ago a Nun reported gang rape and when the police investigated it turned out to be fake and false rape charges were filed for Religous reasons by the NUN. So police and the media, the church and the SICK ULLLA RIST should hold their tongue till the police does the IMPARTIAL INVESTIGATION. If guilty, any and all culprits should be punished for attacking these women or men , raping and desecrating a religious place......
                                            1. Load More Comments