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Three convicted for Odisha nun’s gang-rape

A court in Odisha Friday found three men guilty in the gang-rape of a nun in the state’s Kandhamal district during communal clashes in 2008.

The district and session judge at Cuttack, about 26 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, held Mitu Patnaik, Gajendra Digal and Saroj Badhai guilty of the crime. The court would pronounce the quantum of sentence later in the day.
The 29-year-old Catholic nun was attacked by a mob and raped at Nuagaon village in Kandhamal district Aug 24, 2008, when communal violence in the region was at its peak.

The district, about 200 km from here, witnessed widespread violence after the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides at his ashram. Police initially blamed Maoists for the killings.

At least 38 people were killed in the state and thousands of Christians were forced to flee their homes.

The nun’s gang-rape sparked an international outcry and drew strong condemnation. The court, however, acquitted six others for lack of evidence.

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