Elderly nun gang-raped in India: Police make first arrest over brutal attack

Police refused to say whether the man arrested, named as Mohammad Salim Sheikh, is one of the men who was caught on the convent's CCTV

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The Independent Online

Indian police have arrested a man in connection with the gang-rape of an elderly nun in West Bengal that left the woman in her 70s needing surgery.

The nun was attacked when a group of men broke into the Convent of Jesus and Mary School near Kolkatta in West Bengal.

The men, first described as “bandits” who had broken into the Convent to rob it, tied up the school’s security guard and allegedly gang-raped the elderly woman when she tried to block them from entering the nuns’ sleeping quarters.

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Christians nuns stand next to the attacked convent in Ranaghat as investigations continued into the gang-rape of a nun

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A protest in Ranaghat held after the attack

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Students of Convent of Jesus and Mary School participate in a protest against the alleged gang rape

The men escaped with cash, a mobile phone, a laptop and a digital camera.

Three of the suspects were caught on CCTV and police released the images as part of the investigation. Last week eight men were detained in connection with the attack, but no arrested had been made until now.

Senior police officer Rajeev Kumar told BBC Hindi that a man has been arrested in Mumbai and has been identified as Mohammad Salim Sheikh. He has now been taken to Kolkata.

Police would not tell the broadcaster whether Salim Sheikh was one of the men caught on the CCTV footage at the Convent.

The elderly nun was admitted to hospital in a serious condition after the attack, and reportedly required surgery.

The attack sparked protests in India calling for justice, while the country's prime minister Narendra Modi said he was deeply concerned about the incident and pledged a crackdown on religious violence in the country.

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