The head of the Religious of Jesus and Mary congregation has welcomed a Nov. 8 court decision to sentence a male to life imprisonment for the rape and attempted murder of a 71-year-old member in eastern India.
It is a “red letter day” because “justice has been meted out and the culprits have been punished,” Sister Monica Joseph, superior general of the congregation, said during a press conference.
Nazrul Islam, a 30-year-old Bangladeshi citizen, will splurge the rest of his life in prison. He was convicted on Nov. 7 of raping the nun in the convent of Jesus and Mary School on March 14, 2015 in Ranaghat.
Five of Islam’s assistants or partner in crime, all Bangladeshi, were given prison terms vary from 7 to 10 years for their roles in the robbery of the convent and school run by the nuns.
Judge Kumkum Sinha said that what happened to the senior nun is a spot on Bengal’s legacy.
The judge also said that Bengal is also the land of Irish-Hindu social worker Sister Nivedita and St. Mother Theresa.
Attacking the virginity of an elderly nun “cannot be pardoned,” said the judge. “Even Jesus Christ would have declined to pardon him. He deserves the highest punishment,” she said.
Rome-based Sister Joseph said the nuns are “thankful to the police and the chief minister of Bengal for fast-tracking the trial and bringing the criminals to justice.” Sister Joseph returned to India for the verdict.
Local Christians welcomed the punishment.
“The attack on the nun was inhuman and intolerable. The man who attacked the sister should have no place in our society,” Minoti Mondal, who in 2015 took part in a demonstration seeking justice for the nun, told ucanews.com.
The case made headlines, creating a state upheaval and extensive protests from Christians and other religious communities crosswise the country wanting the crime to be swiftly tackled.