Orissa: convictions, acquittals in gang rape of nun
Catholic World News - March 14, 2014
Three men have been convicted and six have been acquitted in the 2008 gang rape of a nun in Kandhamal, a province of the state of Orissa, Agence France-Presse reported.
The nine defendants were members of a mob of about 50 men who raped the nun, Sister Meena Barwa, and paraded her semi-naked through the streets, along with a Catholic priest, Father Thomas Chellan; both were also beaten during the episode. Police made no effort to intervene during the incident, and authorities in Orissa pressed charges against only a few of those involved. The six acquittals were due to lack of evidence.
Mitu Patnaik (alias Santosh Patnaik), the accused leader of the mob, was sentenced to 11 years in prison; Gajendra Digal and Saroj Badhei received 26-month sentences. The rape victim, who went to New Delhi after her ordeal, told a news conference there that she was frightened to return to Kandhamal to testify, and appealed for federal intervention to assure a serious investigation. The trial was eventually moved out of the Kandhamal district.
Orissa, an eastern Indian state that has since been renamed Odisha, was the site of massive anti-Christian violence that left over 50 dead and 50,000 homeless.
An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:
Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!
Progress toward our October expenses ($33,217 to go):
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!