A nun who was allegedly raped during the anti-Christian Kandhamal riots two years ago appeared before a court in Cuttack on Wednesday and recorded her statement for the first time since the trial began in July.
The 29-year-old nun, who had stayed away from earlier hearings, appeared before the court on Tuesday too. However, her statement could not be recorded as she was ill. The court directed her to record it on Wednesday.
The nun identified five of the nine accused who were present in the district and sessions court. She had also pointed them out during an identification parade held at Cuttack jail in January.
Two other witnesses, including the doctor who provided first aid to the nun just after the alleged rape, also deposed before the court.
The court will hold its next hearing on Monday.
The Catholic nun was allegedly raped by a mob at Nuagaon village in Kandhamal district, about 250 km southwest of Bhubaneswar, on August 24, 2008.
The crime occurred a day after the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda. The communal violence that followed the swami's killing claimed 38 lives and forced thousands of Christians to flee Kandhamal.
The alleged gang rape triggered international outcry and condemnation.
The Orissa government handed over the probe to the crime branch, which arrested 23 persons and filed four chargesheets.
In the first phase, the court is holding trial for nine of the accused. The trial was initially at a court in Baliguda in Kandhamal. After the nun moved the Orissa High Court apprehending unfair trial and threat to life, the trial was shifted to the district and sessions court of Cuttack.