The sensational Ranaghat nun rape case moved a step towards closure after 114 agonising days with the 71-year-old missionary identifying the 28-year-old rapist at the Ranaghat jail on Tuesday.
Nazrul Islam alias Noju — the main accused in the March 14 incident that sent shockwaves through the nation and even made it to the headlines across the world — was picked up by the police from Sealdah railway station in Kolkata on June 17.
The Christian missionary identified Noju from a gathering of 10 persons at a test identification (TI) parade.
Jail sources told HT that she took no time to identify Noju and even touched him — to leave no one in doubt — at the TI parade held between 3:30pm and 4 pm.
“We watched her eyes… they were full of hatred… but they also reflected a rare sense of determination as she pointed him out,” said a jail official. “The nun was completely silent both before and after the TI parade,” a CID officer said. Two other nuns — who were present at the Convent of Jesus and Mary, near the Bangladesh border, on the night of March 14 when the gang of eight criminals struck - accompanied the victim. They also identified Noju.
The nun had told the police earlier that the accused had pulled her into a room and blindfolded her before the rape.
The nun had left Bengal on an early morning flight to Delhi on March 20. She was brought to Ranaghat by CID officers for the identification parade on Monday and she returned to Delhi on a flight from Dumdum on Tuesday evening.
CID sources said Noju and Milan Sarkar, who is also in police custody, were the masterminds in the case. They had done a recce of the convent before storming it and looting Rs 12 lakh in cash. However, it was the rape of the 71-year-old that left everyone shocked and gave an entirely new dimension to the case.
Sarkar had earlier told CID officers that only Noju could have raped the elderly woman because he was the only one who was on the first floor of the convent where the rape took place.
After Tuesday, the CID is just a step away from officially proclaiming Noju as the rapist. The officers are now waiting for the DNA profiling test to seal the case. They had filed the chargesheet in the case on June 22. Now, they will file a supplementary charge-sheet.