Now, Jalpaiguri missionary school receives threat letter

Kolkata: Even as police are yet to make any arrest into the gang rape of a nun in a convent in West Bengal’s Ranaghat, a Christian missionary school in Jalpaiguri district has received a series of threat letters and a phone call – one of which even hinted at a replay of the Ranaghat crime.

The nuns of the St. Capitaneo Higher Secondary School for Girls at Champaguri in Nagrakata block received five threat letters and a phone call between March 11 and 21.

Support TwoCircles

“A complaint was filed on March 22. We are investigating the matter,” Jalpaiguri Superintendent of Police A. Rabindranath said. No one has been arrested so far.

The school – located around 600 km north of Kolkata – gives instructions in the Hindi medium, and the bulk of the 1,700 students are tribals.

“The letters were written in Hindi. There were threats to set the school on fire, and burn down the nuns and students and rape the girls,” said Motius Kerkatta, father of the Nagrakata church.

A student, Sraddha Sharma, said a threat call was also received. “The caller said a bomb will be planted in the school and it will be blown away.”

With the furore over the March 14 rape of the 71-year-old sister superior of the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Ranaghat in Nadia district yet to die down, the administration has rushed police reinforcements.

Policemen have been posted in the school campus to prevent any trouble.

Inspector General of Police (North Bengal) Gyanwant Singh said: “We have taken the matter very seriously.”

A teacher, Deepa Bhattacharya, said: “Since last week, we are seeing civic police volunteers posted in the campus. The sisters told me that they have been sent by the Nagrakata police station in the aftermath of the Ranaghat crime.”

“We were so scared. How can these young civic police personnel give us security? Today, I found constables have been posted. High level administrative and police officers have also come to the school to reassure us. Now we are feeling somewhat reassured,” Bhattacharya said.

The school, near the India-Bhutan border, enrolls students from nursery to Class 12, with the residential section accommodating about 200 students.

The matter has already been brought to the notice of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has instructed police and the administration to take strong action.

The principal, Sister Anice Jacob, who lodged the police complaint, said classes were being held normally.

Facing backlash over police’s inability to make much headway in the Ranaghat case, Banerjee had on March 18 announced that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was being entrusted to take over the probe. However, the central agency is yet to formally take over.

Discharged from the Ranaghat sub-divisional hospital on March 20, the nun subsequently left the state for an undisclosed location, which prompted the opposition parties to call it an “embarrassment” for Banerjee and her ruling Trinamool Congress.

Besides the NCW, the Prime Minister’s Office as well as the National Human Rights Commission have also taken cognizance of the matter and sought detailed reports from the Banerjee government.