Calcutta Court convicts a Bangladeshi for rape of 71 year old Nunand others for dacoity
The Calcutta City Sessions Court pronounced a Bangladeshi guilty of raping a 71-year-old Nun in West Bengal. The person along with 4 other Bangladeshis were also found guilty of conducting dacoity in a Convent.
A resident of the State was found guilty of criminal conspiracy charges and for harbouring the criminals in the same case. Another accused is still on the run. On March 14, 2015, a 71 year old Nun was raped and dacoity committed in the Convent of Mary and Jesus High School in Ranaghat in the border district of Nadia in West Bengal. Nadia district shares an international border with Bangladesh.
The case had been handed over to the CID. Interestingly the CBI had been approached to investigate the case but had refused.
"We had identified the gang from Bangladesh" stated a CID officer. The prime accused Nazrul Islam alias Noju had been picked up by the police from the Sealdah Railway Station in Kolkata on June 17, 2015. The victim had identified Islam from among a group of 10 persons in a test identification parade.
The Court found all six guilty. While Islam was found guilty of rape and robbery; Milan Kumar Sarkar, Ohidul Islam, Selim Sheikh and Khaledar Rahman, all from Bangladesh were found guilty of dacoity.
Gopal Sarkar, a resident of North 24 Pargana district was found guilty of criminal conspiracy. Gopal Sarkar has been found guilty of harbouring the 5 Bangladeshis in his house where the dacoity plot had been hatched.
"This incident is particularly shameful for the people of West Bengal, a state where persons such as Sister Nivedita and Mother Teresa have worked. The missionary who was raped was an aged woman who was working for the welfare of the people stated Judge Kumkum Singha while pronouncing the 6 guilty. The quantum of punishment will be announced on Wednesday.
Aninda Kishor Raut, Public Prosecutor stated that footages of 6 CCTV cameras had been examined along with 42 witnesses. "We will plead for maximum punishment which is life term" added Raut.
"We have been successful in proving that it was not a case of gangrape but a case of rape. We will decide on whether to approach a higher court only after the punishment is announced" stated Fazal Ahmed, Defence lawyer.
Cases are pending against the 5 Bangladeshis under Foreigners' Act before another court.
The convicted had decamped with Rs. 6 lakhs, gold ornaments, camera and computers from the Convent on that day. They had ransacked the premises and tied up staff including nuns and security person following which rape on the 71 year old Nun had been committed. The case had sparked widespread protest from all over the state.
In May 2016, the trial was shifted from a Ranaghat Court to the Kolkata Sessions Court by the Calcutta High Court on a petition by the victim. Ranaghat is 78 km away from the State capital Kolkata.
The nun, who had relocated to Delhi had expressed concerns regarding her safety as the accused had strong connections in Ranaghat. She had then prayed for the transfer of the case to Kolkata.
"We are very happy that justice is finally delivered. We are praying that the convicted are given life term. Let it be an exemplary judgement" stated a former student of the school.