Five policemen suspended in Orissa nun rape case

October 31st, 2008 - 4:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Oct 31 (IANS) Five Orissa policemen were suspended Friday for not performing their duty when a nun was allegedly raped in Kandhamal district, officials said. With this, the total number of policemen in the district who were suspended in the case has risen to six.

The state government Friday suspended an assistant police sub inspector and four head constables of Orissa State Armed Police on the basis of a report from the district administration, said an official of the state home department.

All the policemen suspended were on duty in the region where the nun was attacked by a mob, raped and paraded naked on the streets.

They have been placed under suspension for not performing their duty, officials said.

The government move came days after the nun said at a press conference in New Delhi that she has no faith in the state police as some policemen did not provide her protection when she was attacked.

In her written complaint Aug 26, two days after the incident, the nun alleged that a mob of about 40 to 50 armed men attacked a house at K. Nuagaon village where she along with a priest, Thomas Chellantharayil, had taken shelter after their centre was attacked.

The mob dragged her and the priest and took them to the deserted office of an NGO where she was raped. The priest was doused with petrol and beaten up.

They also paraded her naked on the streets, she alleged, saying that the incident occurred in the presence of several policemen.

The state government had earlier suspended the officer in charge of the police station after the matter was taken up by the media and ordered the crime branch to probe the incident.

Crime branch officials said they have arrested nine people and as per legal provisions, a test identification parade is required.

They are facing a difficulty as the nun is not coming forward despite assurances of full protection.

Orissa’s Kandhamal district witnessed communal violence after the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides in the district Aug 23.

While the police blamed Maoists for the crime, Hindus blamed Christians for it and attacked them and their property.

Officials said no major violence has been reported in the region since Sep 30.

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