2010-11-04 13:39:39

Orissa Nun identifies rapist in court

(November 4, 2010) Sister Meena, who was raped during the anti-Christian violence in Orissa, identified her offenders in court on November 3. She deposed before the District and Sessions Judge in Cuttack, Orissa’s legal capital, for more than 90 minutes. When the court asked her whether she could identify her offenders she pointed out to Santosh Patnaik as her rapist. She also identified five persons, including the one who stood on her hand as the crime was being committed. Orissa police had arrested 19 people for allegedly attacking the nun on Aug. 25, 2008, as well as raping and parading her half-naked through the streets. Fighting back tears, the nun narrated how her attackers pulled her out from her hiding place, dragged her with her hair and fondled her before raping her. The nun had appeared before the court first time on November 2, but her statement could not be recorded as public prosecutors assigned to her case failed to appear in court. The court had ordered Sister Meena to appear in person either on November 2 or 3 to record her statement. Earlier, the Orissa High Court had rejected the nun’s plea to keep her from deposing in the trial court. A High Court judge directed her to approach the trial court to address her grievances. The case was shifted to Cuttack after the nun refused to appear in a trial court in Kandhamal district, the epicentre of the 2008 sectarian violence.

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