Raped nun’s father helps to organize Hindu festival

October 4th, 2008 - 7:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Sambalpur (Orissa), Oct 4 (IANS) His daughter, a nun, was attacked by a Hindu mob and allegedly gang-raped more than a month ago during communal clashes in Orissa. Ignace Barwa, 59, has put the tragedy behind and is busy raising funds for Durga Puja, a popular Hindu festival.”God will forgive them who committed the crime. We can’t be so inhuman,” Barwa told IANS before leaving his thatched house to collect funds for the Puja.

Barwa’s is the only Christian family living along with about 70 Hindu families in Dakara village, 45 km from Sambalpur and some 350 kms from state capital Bhubaneswar.

Barwa originally hails from Sundargarh district but has been staying in Sambalpur district for the last 25 years.

He has five children - two sons and three daughters. While his elder son is a government employee and the eldest daughter is married, the youngest son is helping them in works.

The nun is the second daughter of the family. The youngest daughter is a nurse in Rajgangpur town.

The 28-year-old daughter was allegedly gang-raped and paraded naked in a village in Kandhamal district Aug 25 even as a dozen policemen watched. After more than a month of delay, four people have been arrested only this week.

The state government ordered a probe by the state police crime branch and also suspended the inspector in charge of the police station at Baliguda, where the nun had filed her complaint Aug 26.

The incident occurred three days after a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader was killed, triggering a spate of violence targeting Christians and churches in which at least 34 people have lost their lives.

The Barwas do not know the whereabouts of their daughter after she was raped.

“God will punish the rapist,” said her mother Rezina, 51.

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