Authorities have arrested four people in
connection with the alleged rape of a Catholic nun in eastern India.
Government officials in the state of Orissa today ordered a probe into the
crime, which reportedly took place in Kandhamal district on August 25th, just
days after a Hindu leader was shot and killed. Police suspect Maoist rebels,
but Hindus blame Christians for the death.
The incident has prompted weeks of deadly sectarian violence, in which at least
32 people have been killed. At least one person was killed in clashes late
Officials say the nun reported the crime immediately after it happened, and a
medical examination also confirmed her claim. The state government has
suspended a police officer, K.N. Rao for not acting promptly on the
Orissa's chief minister, Naveen Patnaik today said strict action will
be taken against those who have committed "this shameful and savage
In weeks of sectarian violence, Hindus have set fire to churches, homes and an
orphanage in Orissa, prompting thousands of Christians to seek refuge in
Some Hindu groups accuse Christian missionaries of trying to convert Hindu
villagers with promises of free education and medical care -- a charge denied
by the missionaries.
Christians make up about two percent of India's population.