Nun’s rape: Orissa asks for proof of Bajrang Dal role

October 17th, 2008 - 9:21 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 17 (IANS) The Orissa government Friday told the Supreme Court that the archbishop of Cuttack must substantiate his allegation that Bajrang Dal activists were behind the rape of a nun in the state’s troubled Kandhamal district.Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the Orissa government before a bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam, refuted allegations of Bajrang Dal activists being responsible for the nun’s rape.

Venugopal submitted that before seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the case, the Archbishop Raphel Cheenath must substantiate his allegations with credible evidence.

He told the court that the state government wanted some more time to file its response to Cheenath’s plea for the CBI probe into the case. The bench granted the state government time till Oct 21.

Earlier, the Orissa Police too had denied the allegations that the Bajrang Dal was involved in the nun’s rape.

According to the nun’s written complaint, a mob of about 40 to 50 armed men attacked a house at K. Nuagaon village where she along with a priest, Father 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 allegedly stripped and raped by one of the mob. The priest was doused with petrol and beaten up.

Archbishop Cheenath earlier had moved the apex court seeking Christians’ safety in state’s Kandhamal district that has been rocked by anti-Christian violence following the Aug 23 killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and his four aides.

According to the petitioner, the state government was not providing adequate protection to the victims of the communal violence that has claimed at least 36 lives and rendered thousands of Christians homeless.

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