This Article is From Mar 26, 2015

Bengal Nun Rape Case: Suspect Arrested in Mumbai

Bengal Nun Rape Case: Suspect Arrested in Mumbai

CCTV grabs of the men who attacked the church in Ranaghat, West Bengal


Two weeks after the rape of a 72-year-old nun during an attack at a convent school in West Bengal, the police have made their first arrest.

A man named Mohammad Sikandar Shaikh was arrested this morning from Nagpada in south Mumbai. The police reportedly traced him through his cellphone details. He has been taken to Kolkata.

This is the first arrest made by the Bengal police in a case that outraged the nation and led to street protests in many cities.

The nun needed surgery after she was assaulted on March 14 when a group of at least six men broke into a church and a convent school at Ranaghat, about 100 km from Kolkata. CCTV footage has captured at least six faces.

The nun was raped by one of the men who vandalized the school and damaged a bust of Jesus Christ in a chapel before breaking into the nuns' quarters.

The attackers locked all the nuns in a room, and dragged one of them, who was then raped. They later robbed about Rs. 2 lakh from the office cupboard and some valuables from the chapel.

Eight people were detained for questioning but no arrests were made, which led to anger against the Bengal police and government.

In hospital, the nun told those who met her that she had forgiven the man who raped her. "She forgives her oppressors. She is praying for everyone, including the oppressors," said Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India.

The incident came in a series of attacks on churches in recent weeks.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised a crackdown on religious violence and had said he was deeply concerned about the attack on the nun.