Orissa rape victim wants identification parade outside state

November 10th, 2008 - 5:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Nov 10 (IANS) A nun who was raped in Orissa during the communal violence in August Monday sought more time from the court to be present for a test identification parade as she was not well enough to travel, a Christian leader said here. After a long delay because she was did not have faith in the Orissa police, She has now agreed to cooperate with the investigators.”She is ready to cooperate but she could not come to Kandhamal as she is facing trauma and won’t be able travel,” Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Raphael Cheenath told reporters.

Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate Dola Gobinda Barik at Baliguda had issued notice to the nun last month, directing her to be present at the test identification parade at Baliguda Monday.

The court fixed the date after the Crime Branch said they were facing difficulties in conducting the identification parade due to the nun’s non-cooperation.

In her written complaint Aug 26, two days after the incident, 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 and took them to a deserted office of an NGO where she was raped. 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 Orissa police and wanted a federal probe into the crime. She has now urged that the identification parade be carried out outside the state.

“We have requested that identification parade be done outside Orissa,” Cheenath said.

Orissa’s Kandhamal district witnessed widespread anti-Christian attacks after the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides at his ashram Aug 23.

While police blamed Maoists for the crime, some Hindu organisations alleged Christians were behind the killings and launched attacks on the community. Christian groups have repeatedly said they had nothing to do with Laxmanananda’s murder.

The violence left at least 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.

The murder of 40-year-old Dhanu Pradhani, an activist of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) by suspected Maoists Nov 5, led to fresh tension in the region.

Christian leaders have requested Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to retain the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel deployed in Kandhamal till the end of the general elections due next year.

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