27 March 2014A trial court in Cuttack on Friday convicted three persons and acquitted six in connection with the gang-rape of a nun in Odisha’s Kandhamal district during the 2008 religious riots.
The court held Santosh Patnaik guilty of rape and convicted Gajendra Digal and Saroj Bahdei of outraging modesty of a woman. The court will pronounce the punishment soon.
The nun was raped on August 25, 2008, two days after ethnic riots broke out in Kandhamal, 210 km west of Bhubaneswar, following the killing of Hindu leader Laxmananda Saraswati.
Saraswati, who had been running a campaign to convert Christians into Hindus, was killed by Maoists, but Panas — Dalits converted to Christianity — faced the fury of Hindu nationalist groups.
Thirty-eight people were killed and thousands displaced in the riots. The nun had alleged she was attacked, gang-raped and paraded semi-naked through the streets.
Hindustan Times Cuttack, March 14, 2014
(With inputs from PTI)