The men who sexually assaulted an elderly nun at a convent in Bengal’s Nadia district and escaped with Rs 12 lakh after ransacking the adjoining school most likely fled by train to border districts of West Bengal from where investigating officers say it is relatively easy to cross over into Bangladesh thanks to the porous border.
Their modus operandi indicates the culprits were familiar with the area, say sleuths of the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) who are investigating the case.
This is because the assailants did not use a vehicle to reach the school, and they seem to have waited at least an extra hour at the convent before leaving. This is possibly so that they could reach the Ranaghat railway station, a 10-minute walk away, just in time to catch two early morning trains that leave for border towns in West Bengal, believe investigating officers.
“We have gathered that the culprits did not use any vehicle. They probably knew that local night guards and police vehicles patrolled the area. It is quite likely that the culprits walked to the station and boarded trains,” said a CID sleuth, who requested that he not be named.
Investigating officers estimate that the culprits struck around 1.15 am-1.20 am on Saturday and left after 4 am. One train leaves Ranaghat station at 4.42 am and reaches the border post of Gede at 5.32am; another train leaves at 4.38am and reaches the border town of Bongaon at 5.40am.
“They seem to be aware of the train timings and calculated their departure accordingly. If they went to the station earlier, there was a possibility that railway police personnel deployed there would question them and they would be arrested or detained,” said the sleuth.
Another reason the CID suspects the criminals were familiar with the area was the fact that they were aware of a system in which the area night patrol blows a whistle while passing near the school while the convent’s watchman blows his whistle from inside the premises in response to signal everything was okay.
“Surprisingly on the night of the attack, somebody from inside also blew the whistle in response to the one blown by the night guard patrol outside,” said the sleuth.
The cops have also come to know that the attackers also demolished some idols in the convent. “We wonder what prompted them,” said an investigating officer.