A Bangladeshi man who raped an elderly nun was sentenced to life in prison by an Indian court Wednesday, in a case that has fueled anger at high levels of sexual violence.
The 71-year-old nun needed surgery after the attack in March 2015 when a gang of robbers broke into the convent school where she lived in West Bengal state, eastern India.
‘What happened to the elderly nun is a blot on West Bengal’s legacy where Mother Teresa worked for the poor,’ additional judge Kumkum Singha told a packed court in state capital Kolkata, where church officials and some nuns from the convent were present.
On Tuesday the court found Nazrul Islam guilty of rape and attempted murder, among other offences.
Five others arrested, found guilty of charges unrelated to the sexual assault, were sentenced on Wednesday to 10 years in prison.
The nun, who moved out of the state after the assault, travelled to Ranaghat and identified the accused from a police lineup, chief public prosecutor Tamal Mukerjee said.
‘She strode straight towards the accused and identified him by touching his hand,’ he said.
Thomas D’Souza, the Archbishop of Kolkata, said, ‘The incident shook the conscience of people. It took the church a long time to recover from the ghastly incident.’
The nun, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was attacked after the robbers ransacked the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Ranaghat and stole cash and other items.
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