Indian police arrest key suspect in nun’s rape

PHOTO: returnofkings

PHOTO: returnofkings

Police in India said Thursday they had arrested the main suspect in the rape of an elderly nun that sent shockwaves through the country’s Christian community.

The nun, who is in her 70s, needed surgery after the attack in March, when a gang of robbers broke into the convent school where she lived in the eastern state of West Bengal.

Police in the state capital Kolkata said they had arrested a 28-year-old Bangladeshi man whom they identified only by one name, Noju, at a railway station in the city late on Wednesday.

“Noju is the key suspect in the case,” said Dilip Kumar Adak, the local deputy inspector general of the Criminal Investigation Department.

Adak said the suspect had fled to Bangladesh after being identified from CCTV footage of the attack.

Police got a tip-off that he would return on Wednesday, and went to the train station, where they arrested him.

“He was picked up when the train reached the station in the city,” Adak told AFP.

“We have now arrested six of the eight suspects. Two suspects are still at large.”

Adak said in a previous interview with AFP that police had identified all eight people who broke into the Convent of Jesus and Mary High School using CCTV footage.

One had been hired by the nuns to do construction work, he said. All those arrested so far are Bangladeshi, according to police.

In the weeks following the March attack, Christians in the country, who make up 2.3 percent of the population, spoke of their fear, with one pastor telling AFP he saw the break-in as part of a wider campaign “to marginalise minorities in India”.

India is home to tens of thousands of Bangladeshis who officials say cross illegally into the country, mainly through borders in West Bengal, Tripura and Assam.

The two countries share a 4,000-kilometre (2,500-mile) border, part of which has been fenced by India in a bid to prevent illegal immigrants entering.

The immigration issue has driven a wedge between northeast India’s Bengali-speaking population and local tribal and ethnic inhabitants, with Muslims bearing the brunt of decades of mistrust.

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