Nun’s gang-rape trial moved to Bankshall Court

May 20, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Kolkata, May 19, 2016: The Ranaghat nun gang-rape case of March 2015 has been shifted from a local court to Kolkata’s Bankshall Court.

Calcutta HC ordered the shifting of case on May 5 after the 72-year-old survivor petitioned she feared for her safety and it would be difficult for her to testify in Ranaghat.

This is the second high profile case, after the Kamduni rape-murder, to be moved to Kolkata. CID had probed both crimes. Now with Justice Sudip Ahluwalia transferring the case, all important documents – including the case diary – are being shipped to Bankshall Court.

On the night of March 13 last year, eight robbers broke into the Ranaghat convent and raped a 71-year-old nun. The crime had shocked the country and even drew the attention of the Vatican.

The CID section of the state police within a fortnight identified all the accused, who were arrested over the next few weeks. It moved every stone to arrest the accused – including the alleged kingpin Milan Sarkar – and walked the extra mile to secure the statement of the survivor from Delhi.

In her petition, the elderly nun said she feels afraid because the accused Bangladeshis have “deep links” in Ranaghat town, where several of their relatives live. Travelling from Delhi (where she moved after the horrifying crime) would be difficult too, she said. The CID did not object when her plea was moved in high court.

CID sources say the agency does not have a problem with the trial being shifted but are worried about the time overrun. “When people ask us why it took almost 31 months to get justice in the Kamduni case, they must remember it was moved to Bankshall Court from Barasat court. But we believe we have a strong case and are committed to seek justice in this case,” said an investigating officer. A section of CID officials pointed out that this was a unique case given the survivor has relocated and “even the witnesses are expressing apprehension”.

Advocate Milon Mukherjee said there was no legal binding that the confidential statement has to be made in the same court where the matter is being heard. “Any metropolitan magistrate or judicial magistrate may record any confession or statement,” Mukherjee said.

The forensic report, including the DNA report from the survivor’s blood sample, has been submitted. “This case has taken us to several corners of India and we are eagerly looking forward to a conviction,” said an officer.

– times of india

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