Two more get bail in Kandhamal rape case

The 29-year-old Baliguda Catholic Church nun was allegedly assaulted and raped on August 25, 2008 in Kandhamal district during the communal riots which erupted in the aftermath of VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati murder case.

Last Updated: May 10, 2011, 00:13 AM IST

Cuttack: Two more persons were
granted bail on Monday by Orissa High Court in the much-hyped
crime branch police investigation into the sensational
Kandhamal nun rape case of 2008.

Pandit Kumar Bismajhi and Jatia Sahu arrested by crime
branch sleuths on two separate days in June 2010 for alleged
involvement in the case were granted bail by Justice C R Dash.

The accused persons shall furnish bail bonds of Rs
30,000 and two sureties each of like amount before the
concerned lower court, the High Court said adding the lower
court may also impose any other condition(s) it deems fit
while executing the bail bonds.

It may be mentioned here that investigating into the
case, the crime branch police have filed chargesheets against
at least 30 persons. While only 22 persons have now been
arrested till date by the investigating police, 17 of them
have managed to obtain bails.

Among the five remaining now facing trial in a lower
court here, three have not preferred to move their bail while
bail applications of other two, including the key accused Mitu
Patnaik were rejected by the High Court.

The 29-year-old Baliguda Catholic Church nun was
allegedly assaulted and raped on August 25, 2008 in Kandhamal
district during the communal riots which erupted in the
aftermath of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Laxmanananda
Saraswati murder case. The VHP leader was killed along with
four of his disciples by at least 20 armed intruders inside
his ashram on the evening of August 23, 2008.

However, two months after the incident, the nun came
out in public in October 2008 for the first time recounting
her experience and demanded a CBI probe into the incident,
accusing police of being "friendly" with attackers. Her plea
before the Supreme Court was, however, rejected when the Apex
Court did not feel it wise to hand over the case to CBI and
suggested the victim to cooperate with the State police.

It was on the nun’s insistence; the trial of the case
was shifted to Cuttack district sessions court from Phulbani
district court by the order of Orissa High court. Although,
the trial proceedings in the lower court here is scheduled to
resume next month after about a lay-off of about four months,
the tardy investigation by the crime branch police may come
for embarrassing questioning.

PTI