18 January, 2021

Rape Of The Innocents

The motives remain shadowy, and the culprits are still at large, but the gang-rape of four nuns is now a fierce political row

Rape Of The Innocents

SISTER Noel's rake-thin frame, neatly draped in a blue sari, trembles visibly as she relives—yet again, because it haunts her dreams—the night she and three other nuns were gang-raped by tribals at a charitable dispensary in Nawapada village. The motive behind the assault isn't quite clear: the nuns could've been victims of revenge, politics, or simply, of unbridled lust which literally and figuratively stripped them of their habits and exploited their vulnerability as women.

"It's not a minority issue, it's a women's issue," says Rajya Sabha MP Mabel Rebello. But no one, including her colleagues in the Congress, is listening. The rape, followed by an attack on a priest in the same district, Jhabua, and the alleged molestation and murder of a maulvi's wife in Indore, is providing a feast of fodder for political parties.

With the assembly elections just two months away, it's the last thing that Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digivijay Singh needs. In a ham-handed effort at damage control, he demanded the death...



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