Nun’s plea to hold identification parade in Delhi rejected

November 19th, 2008 - 9:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Nov 19 (IANS) An Orissa court Wednesday rejected a rape victim nun’s plea to hold the test identification parade (TIP) in New Delhi instead of in the state.The court of Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate Dola Gobinda Barik rejected her plea to change the venue and time of the TIP.

“The nun through her lawyer told the court that she cannot attend the TIP at Baliguda at the moment because she was unwell and suffering from trauma,” Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) B. Loknath Dora told IANS by telephone.

“She through her advocate also sought three weeks’ time and wanted that the TIP should be conducted at Delhi,” he said.

A police Crime Branch team met the nun in New Delhi Tuesday and questioned her.

According to an official, she assured the team to extend all cooperation and said she will be able to identify the culprits.

In her written complaint filed two days after the crime of Aug 24, the nun said 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 outside the house and took them to a deserted office of an NGO where she was raped, she said.

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

The nun had narrated her ordeal at a press conference in New Delhi last month and said that she did not have faith in the Orissa police and wanted a central probe.

She has now urged the court that the identification parade be held outside the state.

The state Crime Branch, investigating the crime, has arrested 10 people and petitioned the court for a date for the TIP, alleging non-cooperation from the nun.

The court issued a notice to the nun last month, directing her to be present at the TIP at Baliguda Nov 10. It changed the date to Nov 19 following her for more time.

The attack on her and the priest took palce against the backdrop of communal clashes in Kandhamal district, some 200 km from here.

The region witnessed widespread communal violence after the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides at his ashram Aug 23.

While Maoists claimed responsibility for the crime, some Hindu organisations alleged Christians were behind the killings and launched attacks on the community.

The violence left 38 people dead and thousands of Christian had to flee to the jungles to escape rampaging mobs.

While some have returned, more than 10,000 are still living in government-run relief camps in the district.

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