New Delhi/Ranaghat: The Centre on Friday rejected West Bengal government’s request for a CBI probe into the gangrape of a 71-year-old nun at a convent school in Nadia district, a day after the CID achieved a breakthrough in arresting two suspects 12 days after the heinous crime took place.

Senior officials in the Home Ministry said that a recommendation of the West Bengal government had been received for a CBI probe into nun gang rape case and it had “expressed regret”, officials said.

The officials said that the decision had been communicated to the state government.

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AFP

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced on 19 March that her government recommended a CBI probe “considering the seriousness and sensitivity of the case” and assured the central probe agency of all cooperation and assistance in the investigation.

Meanwhile, Gopal Sarkar, the second suspect arrested on Thursday, was on Friday produced before a local court and remanded to 14 days’ CID custody.

The order was passed by Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Papiya Das, who agreeing to the prosecution’s submission charged him under IPC sections 212 and 216(a) (harbouring the offender before) apart from IPC sections 395 (dacoity), 397 (dacoity with attempt to cause grievous hurt or death) and 376 (rape).

The first arrest was made in Mumbai, also yesterday, when Mohammed Salim Sheikh alias Salim was picked up in the early hours. Both the arrested were Bangladeshi nationals.

A study of the CCTV footage at the convent in Ranaghat sub-division had shown visuals of four persons, who were allegedly involved in the crime.

The gang broke into the school and three-four of them raped the woman after gagging her and later took away Rs 12 lakh kept in a locker.

The nun was admitted to a local hospital and later taken to an undisclosed destination after being discharged.

The incident had sent shock waves across the nation. Baselios Cardinal Cleemis, the president of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), said that “justice should be made visible and such acts should not continue…”

Apart from being allegedly involved in the crime, Sarkar, who was arrested from his home at Habra in North 24 Parganas district yesterday, had allegedly given shelter to the other culprits involved in the crime.

Like yesterday when the first suspect Mohammed Salim Sheikh found no lawyer to represent him when he was produced in court after his arrest in Mumbai by the CID, Sarkar too found none to represent him.

Milan Sarkar, secretary of Ranaghat Bar Association said the decision not to represent them was taken as they had committed a “heinous crime”.

However, the two will get the legal assistance from the Sub-Divisional Legal Aid Committee, its representative and advocate Basudeb Mukhopadhy had said yesterday.

Sheikh, who was brought here on transit remand, too was remanded to 14 days’ CID custody.

The Sister Superior of the Convent of Jesus and Mary at Gangnapur in the Ranaghat police station area in Nadia district was gangraped in the early hours on March 14 after which a CID probe was ordered.

The nun had left for an undisclosed location outside West Bengal after her discharge from hospital.

The gang also took away Rs 12 lakh kept in the almirah locker before fleeing the place.

PTI

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Centre rejects West Bengal govt’s plea for CBI probe into nun gangrape