Indian Catholic News

Cardinal Gracias denounces acquittal of nun’s alleged rapists

He said the Church will appeal in a higher court.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias

The acquittal of the alleged rapists of a Catholic nun in India’s Chhattisgarh state "is a grave injustice, not only for our consecrated, but also for all women who have suffered a similar trauma,” said Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay.

The accused, 19 year-old Dinesh Dhurv, and 25-year old Jitendra Pathak, were arrested on charges of tying up and gang raping a 48-year old nun of Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate (SMMI) ‎at a medical center in the state capital, Raipur in June 2015.

A fast-track released then on January 5 because of lack of evidence.

Cardinal Gracias, president of the Asian Bishops Conferences believes investigations were compromised by the "halfhearted attitude of the police," who failed to protect the crime scene and did not collect the traces of the attackers from the victim's body, a news report in the Vatican Radio’s website.

“This acquittal once again brings to our attention the problem of violence against women. It is a huge setback for all of us working for the rights and dignity of women, in particular victims of violence,” he said. He said the Church will appeal in a higher court.

The state representatives of the Congress party and the Chhattisgarh Christian Forum have called the incident a "systematic attack against minorities in the State".

Since the beginning, the Christian leaders have complained about serious shortcomings in the conduct of enquiry by investigators, who had not collected blood, urine and other fluid samples to determine the hallucinogenic substance used to dope the missionary.

Source: Radio Vatican

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