The West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) have arrested a suspect in connection with the highly publicised gangrape of a nun in West Bengal, marking the first arrest in the case. Previously 15 people had been detained in connection with the incident, though no arrests had been made.
The Sister Superior of Jesus and Mary’s Convent School was gangraped by dacoits at Ranaghat in Nadia district on 14 March.
A man named Mohammad Salim Sheikh was arrested from Mumbai, according to TV reports. The arrest comes nearly two weeks after the incident, which drew immense criticism from all quarters, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Salim was reportedly tracked down after police traced his cellphone details, CID ADG Rajeev Kumar told Hindustan Times.
The suspect has now been flown to Kolkata for questioning, according to DNA. Sheikh is likely to be questioned at the Bhawani Bhawan, which is the CID headquarters in Bengal.
The West Bengal government had on 18 March decided to hand over the case to CBI as the demand for justice became louder. But the investigating agency is yet to formally take charge of the case.
The incident happened in Ranaghat, a town with a sizeable Christian population. Local media reports suggest that the local police chose to ignore a complaint filed by the nuns several days before the attack.
According to authorities of the local convent school in Ranaghat sub-division, the gang broke into the convent after 12:30 am.
According to witness accounts given to the police, after vandalising the institution and bagging Rs 12 lakh from the school’s safe, the armed men directed the guard to get all the nuns in one room. The guard conveyed this to the three nuns, who gathered in one room. Then the assailants reportedly asked who was the senior-most and then dragged the principal of the school to the adjoining room where she was raped.
The nun was taken to Ranaghat Hospital by the school hostel authorities on Saturday after the matter came to light. She was discharged from the hospital on 20 March.
(With inputs from PTI)
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