Five police personnel suspended in nun rape case

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 31 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today suspended five policemen, including an Assistant Sub-Inspector, on charges of dereliction of duty in connection with the alleged rape of a nun at Kandhmal district.

They were suspended on the basis of a joint report submitted by the Kandhmal District Collector and the Superintendent of Police to the Chief Minister.

The suspended cops are ASI Rasananda Mallick of OSAP Battalion, Havildar major K N Mohapatra, Havildar S K Hanim, J S Khan and B K Mohanty.

The government had earlier suspended Baliguda police station in-charge K M Rao on charges of dereliction of duty for not taking action in the rape case.

The nun was allegedly raped at K Nuagaon on August 25 last during Orissa bandh observed in protest against the assassination of VHP leader Swami Laxmananda Saraswati and four of his followers by some unknown assailants on the night of August 23.

The government has already ordered a Crime Branch probe into the incident and arrested nine people in connection with the case, three of whom were arrested from Palghat in Kerala. The government has also decided to conduct TI parade anywhere in the country as per the wish of the nun who has demanded a CBI probe into the case.

The nun, who had lodged an FIR with the Baliguda police station on August 26, had remained untraced despite all efforts by the Crime Branch police only to be surfaced on October 24 before mediapersons in New Delhi. Covering her face with a scarf, the nun narrated the harrowing experience of how she was dragged by the mob, raped and paraded half-naked on the street of K Nuagaon village in presence of the police.

The nun alleged that though she sought the help of the policemen present at the scene, none of them came to her rescue and witnessed the whole incident as a mute spectator. The police, she further said had even discouraged her to file an FIR and were seen very friendly with the attackers.

Stating that she had lost all faith in Orissa police to bring the perpetrators involved in the ghastly incident to justice, the nun reiterated her demand for a CBI probe despite the Supreme Court rejecting such a probe while adjudicating a petition filed by Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Raphael Cheenath.

The allegation of the nun that the policemen present at the spot stood as mute spectators has prompted the Chief Minister to quickly order for an inquiry by the district collector and the Superintendent of police who were asked to identify the police personnel deployed on August 25 at K Nuagaon when the shocking incident took place.

UNI DP PC SKB BST1855

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