Kolkata, November 8, 2017 : Cases of sexual assault are not new to the country. Sadly, the number of reported cases has witnessed a sharp rise in recent years. Countless insane reasons have been repeatedly cited to defend rapes that ranged from wearing short clothes, staying out till late hours, being over-friendly with men, among many others. But how do you justify the rape of an elderly nun? How do you justify rape at all?
Ranaghat nun rape case dates back to 2015. Two years after the incident, a court in Kolkata has now convicted and sentenced a Bangladeshi man to life imprisonment, for raping an elderly nun. The incident had taken place at a school in Ranaghat, West Bengal in 2015.
On March, 2015, five men had broken into the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Ranaghat with a motive to loot the church and vandalize the idols. Consequently, they attacked the oldest nun of the school, aged 71, who had tried to stop them.
On November 7, two years after the Ranaghat nun rape case, the City Sessions Court announced 28-year-old Nazrul Islam, a Bangladeshi man guilty of rape and attempted murder of the nun.
Previously, Islam had been arrested after the nun had identified him from a list of suspects.
Ranaghat Nun Rape Case: What Exactly Happened?
As per a report by PTI, Arnab Ghosh, a police superintendent in Ranaghat revealed that the men, all aged between 20 and 30, jumped the boundary of the co-ed school around 11:40 pm in March 13.
After disconnecting the telephone lines, the five men choked the security personnel on duty and entered the nuns’ room. Upon being stopped by the oldest nun of the school, they forced her into another room where she was raped.
The men then went on to steal cash, and other expensive materials that included a camera, mobile phone and laptop.
The men also attacked Convent of Jesus and Mary and vandalized and stole holy items.
Reactions To The 2015 Ranaghat Nun Rape Case
The nun was subjected to such brutal treatment that she had to be rushed to a hospital on March 14 where she underwent an operation.
The Ranaghat nun rape case sought intense reactions from the larger public. Hundreds of angry locals, priests and schoolgirls took to the state to protest against the incident – highways were blocked, shops were closed and candlelight marches were carried out as slogans demanding justice were raised.
Soon after the incident was reported, the West Bengal government ordered the Criminal Investigation Department to carry out investigations that made use of CCTV footage to arrest the five accused.
The five accused were arrested after three months.
Delayed But Deserved Verdict
A court in West Bengal on November 8 has now sentenced Nazrul Islam to life imprisonment for raping, and allegedly attempting to murder the aged nun.
The court also convicted his other five accomplices – Gopal Sarkar , Kumar Sarkar, Mohd Selim Sheikh, Ohidul Islam and Khaledar Rahman of robbery, and sentenced them to 10 years of imprisonment.
The verdict comes two years after the incident had taken place.
The delay in the verdict raises serious concerns on the security of women in the count.
Rape Culture in India?
As per the 2015 government data, 34,651 cases of rape were officially recorded. However, it is estimated that the true figure is much higher than this, given half of the cases go unreported.
Rape culture in India garnered more spotlight following the Nirbhaya-gang rape, after which the issue has continue to remain a burning topic in the country. Consequently, laws on sexual violence were strengthened. However, the extents to which they are enforced remain questionable.