One more arrested in nun rape case

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 17 (UNI) The Orissa Crime Branch police probing into the aleged rape of a nun during communal violence in Kandhamal, today arrested one more person in connection with the ghastly crime.

Crime Branch sources said one Gajendra Digal was arrested from K Nuagaon village where the nun was allegedly raped on August 25 during a mob fury in the trouble-torn Kandhamal.

The incident took place just two days after the killing of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his disciples inside the Jalaspeta Ashram by some unknown assailants which triggered arson and communal violence in the district.

With the arrest of Gajendra Digal, the Crime Branch had so far arrested nine people in connection with the rape case. Earlier, five people were arrested from Baliguda in Kandhamal while later three more who fled after the crime, were arrested from Palghat in Kerala.

Police said the three arrested from Palghat in Kerala were medically examined and produced before the First Class Judicial Magistrate court at Baliguda yesterday and remanded to jail custody According to Inspector General Crime Branch Arun Ray, the police would likely to conduct the DNA test of all the accused as the nun had not named any one in the FIR.

The Orissa government had already placed Baliguda police station officer-in-charge K M Rao under suspension and ordered for a Crime Branch inquiry into the incident.

But in the absence of the nun, Crime Branch police were finding it difficult to proceed further with the case as the nun was yet to respond to police request to appear in person and cooperate with the investigation.

Orissa Director General of Police M M Praharaj had even assured her of providing all assistance and security during her visit to the state to join the investigation process.

The nun had reportedly written a letter to the Orissa Chief Minister seeking a CBI probe into the incident. Archbishop of Cuttack Raphael Cheenath has also moved a petition before the apex court praying for a CBI probe into the nun rape case.

UNI DP SS JT KN2349

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