Noting that the church administration was "very guarded" in the matter of the rape of a nun in riot-hit Kandhamal, the Christian leaders in Orissa on Thursday said she would return to the state at the "right time".
The nun, who was raped at Nuagaon on August 25 during the Orissa bandh, remained untraced by the state government and the police since the incident.
"The nun is safe and is under custody of the church," president of YMCA, Bhubaneswar, Swarupananda Patra told reporters in Bhubaneswar.
The church will take "proper steps at right time," Vicar General, Archbishop House, Father Joseph Kalathil said in Bhubaneswar.
Denouncing the government's action of sending police teams to Delhi and other places, the Christian leaders said it was improper to bring a rape victim surrounded by police amid full media glare.
Appealing all to understand the plight of the nun, who was subjected to such a situation, Father Kalathil said she has lost faith in the police in Orissa.
"Her faith in the police is shattered after the incident," he said, adding that the victim was gathering courage and determination to come out.
Though the police as well as the state were unaware of the whereabouts of the nun, the leaders today made it clear that she was under church custody.
Sister Nirmala of Missionaries of Charity, after her meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik two days ago, had also said the nun would appear if proper atmosphere was created.