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Elderly nun is gang-raped in India for trying to stop school robbery

Elderly nun is gang-raped in India for trying to stop school robbery

A nun in her 70s was gang-raped by a group of bandits yesterday when she tried to prevent them from robbing a Christian missionary school in eastern India, police said, the latest crime to focus attention on the scourge of sexual violence in the country.

The nun was taken to hospital in serious condition after being attacked by 7 or 8 men at the Convent of Jesus and Mary School in Nadia district, 80km northeast of the West Bengal state capital of Calcutta, a police officer said.

The men escaped and police were searching for them, said the officer.

The robbers tied the school’s security guards with ropes 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 woman who was attacked was either 71 or 72 and was the oldest nun at the school, he said.

The men escaped with some cash, a mobile phone, a laptop computer and a camera, all belonging to the school, the officer said. They also ransacked the school’s chapel and holy items, the Press Trust of India news agency cited the archbishop of Calcutta, Thomas D’Souza, as saying.

Scores of angry students, their parents and teachers blocked a nearby highway and railroad tracks for several hours demanding swift police action leading to the arrest of the culprits.

Mamta Banerjee, the state’s top elected official, strongly condemned the attack and ordered a high-level police investigation. D’Souza appealed to people to maintain peace and harmony in the area.

The December 2012 fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old woman aboard a moving bus in New Delhi triggered widespread anger at sexual violence across India.

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