Elderly nun gang raped in a convent by bandits
|Christians in the capital, Delhi, have held protests, |
accusing the government of failing to protect them
A group of bandits gang raped an elderly nun on Saturday when she attempted to stop them from robbing a Christian missionary school in eastern India, police said.
The nun, who is in her 70s, was hospitalized in serious condition after being attacked by seven or eight men at the Convent of Jesus and Mary School in Nadia district, 50 miles northeast of the West Bengal state capital of Kolkata, a police officer said.
Police Inspector General Anuj Sharma told Agence France-Presse that "two people have so far been arrested." The others remain at large.
The robbers tied the school's security guards with ropes early Saturday and entered the nuns' room, where the women were sleeping. They took one of the nuns to another room when she tried to block their way and then raped her, the officer said.
The Archbishop of Calcutta, Thomas d'Souza, told the BBC that security cameras inside the Convent of Jesus and Mary School show the faces of the six men who carried out the assault.
They first ransacked the school principal's office and classrooms before entering the convent itself.
"There are only three Sisters in the community," he said.
"One sister was molested badly. The other two, and a guard, were tied to chairs."
The men also stole money from the school, he said, vandalised the chapel, broke open the tabernacle and took away the ciborium, the sacred vessel used during Mass.
The school is well-known and has been open for 19 years, he added.
The Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, has condemned the incident.
The attack comes at a time of growing concern about sexual violence against women and there has been increased media reporting of rapes and assaults.
Christian groups have recently held protests in the Indian capital, Delhi, saying they are being targeted and demanding better protection.