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Orissa nun identifies 2 Kandhamal rape suspects

Orissa nun identifies 2 Kandhamal rape suspects

Senior police official says identification parade was successful.

Bhubaneswar: A nun who was raped during last year's communal violence in Orissa identified two people during a test identification parade of the suspects on Monday, police and officials said.

The identification parade was held in the central jail at Choudwar in Cuttack district, some 30 km here, in the presence of a magistrate, police said.

"The TI (test identification) parade was successfully conducted in the afternoon. She identified two people," a senior official of the state crime branch police told IANS by phone.

The 29-year-old Catholic nun who had been reluctant to cooperate with the state police arrived at the jail, escorted by crime branch officials, and participated in the identification parade, he said.

At least 50 people were lined up in the jail along with all 10 suspects. The nun identified two of the suspects, the police officer said.

The nun was attacked by a mob and raped in Kandhamal district on Aug 24. She lodged a complaint with the police two days later.

She was reluctant to attend the identification parade in Kandhamal district despite orders by a local court and had earlier petitioned the high court seeking change of the venue to Cuttack.

The high court on December 18 had asked the state police crime branch to conduct the test identification parade in the Choudwar jail in Cuttack district.

Kandhamal district, about 200 km from here, witnessed widespread communal violence after the murder of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides at his ashram Aug 23.

At least 38 people were killed in the state and thousands of Christians forced to flee their homes after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs. About 6,700 people are still living in government-run relief camps in the district.

While police blamed Maoists for the killings, some Hindu organisations held Christians responsible for the crime and launched attacks on the community. Christian organisations have repeatedly denied their involvement in the murder.

first published:January 05, 2009, 18:04 IST