Thirty five days after the alleged gang rape of a 28-year-old nun and the brutal assault on the priest who tried to protect her, the Orissa government has still not taken any steps to book those responsible.
The nun and the priest, Father Thomas Chellan — working at the Divya Jyoti Pastor Centre at K Nuagaon, 12 km from Baliguda town, the nearest subdivisional headquarters in Kandhamal district that has seen attacks on Christians over the past month — both filed FIRs at Baliguda police station on August 26, a day after they were attacked. The nun also underwent a medical examination at the local hospital, but even the report is yet to be submitted to the police.
“At present I’m on leave,” Dr SK Maniruddin, sub-divisional medical officer told HT. “I will submit the report within a couple of days. We will reveal its contents after it has been submitted.”
Why has there been so much delay? “I cannot say anything more,” he replied.
“We don’t have the medical report yet,” said K.M. Rao, Inspector-in-Charge at the Baliguda police station. “We can start investigation only after we get the report. We have been very busy trying to maintain law and order here during the last month and hence have not been able to pursue the matter with the doctors.”
DIG, Southern Range, RP Koche said some more test results on the nun were awaited. “Certain forensic test results have still to come," he said. What were these other tests? Koche would not say.
“The police cannot justify their inaction by saying they don't have the medical report,” said Dr AMM Patnaik, chief district medical officer of Kandhamal district. “They should have asked for the report from the concerned doctors.”
Sister Nirmala, superior general of the Missionaries of Charity, has written to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik apprising him of the incident, but the government too has remained unmoved. Health Minister Sanatan Bisi, claimed he did not know about it at all. “I have not seen the newspapers since I'm not in Bhubaneswar now.”