Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, visited Ranaghat on Wednesday to meet the 71-year-old nun who was raped in West Bengal’s Nadia district last week. “The sister is in the hospital, she is at peace and she forgives her oppressors. She is praying for everyone, including the oppressors. I was surprised she spoke with such serenity. Justice is, however, the concern of the society. The culprits should be brought to book,” Cleemis, who also met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, said.
Sources said that when the intruders were molesting two other nuns, the victim intervened and said they should stop as the sisters were not well. They then suggested that she should come along with them, and forcibly tried to lift her, but the nun said she would walk. Sources said she was taken to a separate room. She was found there at 4 am, lying in a pool of blood.
Sources added that some of the intruders tried to forcibly take rings and chains from the nuns, who pleaded that they should leave those items alone as “they belong to God”.
Meanwhile, Cleemis said, “I am told the CM has ordered a CBI probe… I have met her in her office and shared with her our anxiety and she has extended her cooperation by ordering a CBI probe,” he said.
Amid widespread protests in Kolkata, he added, “These attacks, I guarantee, will never separate the Christians from the mainstream. But this incident will bring more sorrow to the nation.”
Recounting his meeting with the nun, he said, “She said she has forgiven but added that what happened to her should not happen to anyone else. As this period of Lent is very special for Christians, she said that the way she saw it, her suffering helped her identify with the suffering of Christ at this time, and she hoped it would yield in bringing blessings to everyone.”
Meanwhile in Kolkata, Gouri Chowdhury, observer, BJP Mahila Morcha, said, “We are protesting against the lawlessness and lack of security for women in a state which has a lady CM. Why is justice being delayed so much if pictures of offenders are available?”
State president of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Mohd Nooruddin claimed the “anti-minority speeches by BJP leaders” were to blame for such incidents. Left Front chairman Biman Bose and leader of the opposition Surya Kanta Mishra, too, condemned the attack.