Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ten charged over rape of Indian nun

Indian police have charged ten men with the gang rape of Catholic Sister Meena during weeks of anti-Christian violence in the state of Orissa last year.

The violence between Hindus and Christians in Orissa state followed the killing of a Hindu religious leader in August, Associated Press said. Police blamed Maoist rebels, but conservative Hindu groups blamed Christian residents and set fire to a Christian orphanage.

The state government said 32 people died in the clashes that followed. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India said at least 40 Christians were killed.

Investigating officer Dilip Mohanty said that 10 men, including two the nun had identified from a lineup on January 5, were charged with gang rape - a specific charge under Indian law. If convicted, the men face up to 10 years in prison.

Twenty others have also been brought up on charges related to their alleged rioting during the attack on the prayer house where the nun worked, police official Jitendra Koel said.

Mohanty said the investigation into the attack would continue and police was looking for other attackers and members of the mob.

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(Source: AN)