One more arrested in Orissa nun rape case


Bhubaneswar : One more person has been arrested in Orissa for his alleged involvement in the rape of a nun during the communal violence last year in the state’s Kandhamal district, police said Sunday. “Jayaban Digal, a resident of Sainpada village, was arrested Saturday night. With the latest arrest, the number of people arrested in the case has gone up to 11,” investigating officer D.K. Mohanty told IANS from Kandhamal.

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“We are likely to arrest about four to five more people in the near future,” he said.

The 29-year-old Catholic nun was attacked by a mob and raped Aug 24. She filed a complaint with the police two days later.

The nun was earlier reluctant to attend the identification parade of the accused in Kandhamal despite orders by a court. She submitted a petition in the Orissa High Court seeking change of the venue to Cuttack.

The high court Dec 18 asked the police to conduct the test identification parade in the Choudwar jail, some 30 km from here.

The parade was conducted Jan 5. The victim identified only two of the 10 people arrested. The crime branch police, probing the case filed a preliminary charge sheet in the local court Jan 26.

Mohanty said they will submit a final charge sheet in the case after completing the investigation.

Kandhamal, about 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.

At least 38 people were killed in the state and thousands of Christians were forced to flee their homes after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs. About 5,700 people are still living in government-run relief camps in the district.