Orissa court to hear Kandhamal nun case Dec 6

November 24th, 2008 - 10:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Nov 24 (IANS) An Orissa court Monday posted to Dec 6 the hearing in the case of the nun who was allegedly raped during communal violence in the district of Kandhamal in August, a government lawyer said.The state crime branch, investigating the case, has arrested 10 people and had petitioned the court of the sub-divisional judicial magistrate at Baliguda last month to fix a date for the test identification parade (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 petition for more time.

The nun, however, petitioned the court again seeking more time and for shifting the venue of the parade to Delhi.

The court on Nov 21 rejected both her pleas and asked the crime branch to submit a final form (status of investigation and remand) in the case Nov 24.

“No petitions were filed before the court today (Monday) either by the crime branch or by the nun. The court posted the date in the case to Dec 6 without making any observation,” Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) B. Loknath Dora told IANS.

The Kandhamal district, some 200 km from here, 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.

Thousands of Christian were forced to flee their home after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs. More than 10,000 are still living in government-run relief camps in the district.

The state government says the situation is still tense in some areas of the district.

In her written complaint filed two days after the crime 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 non-government organisation where she was raped, she said. They also paraded her naked on the streets, she alleged, adding that the incident occurred in the presence of several policemen.

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