Bangladeshi native awarded imprisonment until death
Kolkata: A sessions court in Kolkata on Wednesday sentenced a Bangladeshi man, Nazrul Islam alias Naju, to life imprisonment till death for raping a septuagenarian nun during a robbery at a convent in Ranaghat in 2015.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Kumkum Sinha on Tuesday convicted Nazrul Islam of rape while five others of the seven-member gang were also held guilty. One accused is still on the run.
Nazrul along with four other accused, namely Milan Kumar Sarkar, Ohidul Islam, Selim Sheikh and Khaledar Rahman were all found guilty of robbery and criminal conspiracy on the basis of which the sentence was pronounced. The sixth accused, Gopal Sarkar, a resident of Habra in North 24 Parganas who was found guilty of harbouring the five criminals at his residence was also awarded 10 years imprisonment on charges of being involved in the criminal conspiracy as the blueprint for the entire operation was chalked out by the gang at his residence. Apart from Gopal all the other accused are residents of Bangladesh.
"I am awarding life imprisonment to Nazrul as he is responsible for a heinous crime like rape on a nun who is associated with service of people," Singha said while delivering the quantum of punishment.
The nun was raped at the Ranaghat convent in Nadia district on March 14, 2015, where six persons had barged in for committing dacoity. They had decamped with cash worth Rs 6 lakh from the safe of the convent. The trial was shifted from a court in Ranaghat to Kolkata in May 2016 by the Calcutta High Court on a petition by the victim nun.
The victim, who had relocated to Delhi following the incident, had sought transfer of the case stating that she feared for her safety as the accused allegedly had strong links in Ranaghat.
Soon after taking charge of the investigation on the basis of a case lodged at Gangnapur police station in Ranaghat, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had arrested the accused six.
Meanwhile, the superior general of the Religious of Jesus and Mary on Wednesday thanked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the successful investigation into the Ranaghat nun rape case. "Sr Monica Joseph of India telephoned the Chief Minister and thanked her for the manner by which the state probed the incident," the official said.
Sr Monica Joseph of India is the superior general of the Religious of Jesus and Mary nuns worldwide, headquartered in Rome. She also expressed satisfaction at the court's final verdict in the case.