Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa has the bitterest experience of Catholic Christian nuns raising false allegations of rape against peoples of rival religions. They raise such allegations deliberately for two reasons: (1) to support someone politically and (2) to spread their religion. One cannot ignore this aspect while dealing with the allegation of rape of a Catholic nun of Kandhamal read with her assertion that she will never cooperate with investigation if the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is not asked to handle the case.

If Ottavio Quattrochi has escaped Indian Law in Bofors bribe scam, it is because a government that Sonia Gandhi controls, controls the CBI. The Catholic nun allegedly raped during a communal riot in Kandhamal is insisting upon investigation by the same CBI as otherwise she asserts, she will not cooperate in proving her allegation. Raising an allegation of such a grave nature and refusing to cooperate in investigation is an illegality. But the nun is trying to divert attention from this illegality by insisting that instead of Orissa Police, the CBI be engaged to handle the case.

As seen in Quattrochi case the CBI is susceptible to wishes of the person controlling the central government. Sonia continues to control the government that controls the CBI. She is like the nun a Catholic Christian. The Kandhamal conflict is an offshoot of communal acrimony between the Christians and the Hindu activists that has led to communal polarization. Besides being a Catholic Christian Sonia is politically prejudiced against Orissa government, which is run by her political opponents. In such circumstances the CBI may be manipulated to side with the nun howsoever concocted her allegations might have been.

If the nun is not discouraged to raise wild doubts on the credibility of Orissa Crime Branch, her communal opponents may be encouraged to raise such questions on credibility of CBI.

It would be bad for our body politic. Hence the nun must not be allowed to raise wild allegations against the Orissa Police and must be made legally bound to substantiate her allegation by cooperating with the Crime Branch (CB) of the State. If she fails, she should be subjected to exemplary punishment for having tarnished the image of Orissa before the world through a press conference at Delhi where she has on October 24 revealed her intention to attract world attention to her raping.

The Christians try to spread their religion through sympathy waves. News of rape of nuns by practitioners of rival religions generates sympathy waves for the Christian missionaries amongst the gullible public and helps publicity of Christian religion in a peculiar manner. As hinted to supra, Orissa has such experiences when another Catholic nun Jacklin Merry had alleged that she had been gang raped by a group of people on February 4, 1999. The allegation was probed into and found false. At that time, J.B.Patnaik of the Congress party was the Chief Minister of Orissa; but he was no more under the grace of Sonia Gandhi. She soon replaced him with Giridhar Gamango. Many believe, Merry’s allegation of rape was deliberately cooked up to further strengthen Sonia with justification to jettison J.B. On submitting his resignation on February 9, 1999 J.B. had said, “I have been under tremendous pressure… If all these attacks on Christians have anything to do with me as Chief Minister, I own moral responsibility and resign.” If a Catholic nun could be used a decade ago to raise false and concocted allegation of gang rape to destabilize a State Government led by a man that Sonia was eager to replace with another person so that the negative impact of administration by her party could be overcome in the elections, a nun could also be used to destabilize a government run by opponents of Sonia.

This, of course, is not said to suggest that the Kandhamal Catholic nun is not raped.

If she has been really raped she must assist the law and order machinery in punishing the perpetrators of the heinous crime. If the CB is siding with the rapists, if really there are any, she should come to the authorities with the proof thereof. But she must not raise fictitious noise that she has no faith in the CB and therefore the CBI should take over. If she was really raped and sought refuge under two Constables of Orissa Special Armed Police (OSAP), who, as she says, refused to intervene or if an officer of a Police Station, as she says, did not act promptly against the culprits, she should say that honestly to the CB. She knows that the CB is not the same as OSAP or personnel of a PS.

In declaring that she has no faith in Orissa Police, she has in fact declared that she has no faith in the CB. She has not shown how the CB is incompetent to conduct the investigation. She has no right to denigrate the CB sans any base. When high officials of Orissa, even officers of high positions in Orissa Police are also seen prosecuted by CB, why should one accept that it would not act against rapists, if any, of the nun?

So, Orissa Government’s “No” to CBI enquiry is most correct and appropriate.

When the written statement she has read out to the Press at New Delhi is not consistent with what she says, the Forensic examination of her cloths that she had given as the corpus dilicti in the alleged rape has failed to show any trace of DNA of rapists if any. Therefore, onus lies on the nun to show that she really was raped. She should therefore have extended her full cooperation to the CB in the investigation. But she has refused.

It seems, she doesn’t want Orissa to punish her rapist, if she really was raped. This makes the matter murkier; specifically as the self-proclaimed rape victim’s declared purpose in addressing the Press at New Delhi was more aimed at embarrassing Orissa Government in the eyes of the world than at expediting Police action against the alleged rapists.

Such modus operandi must not be allowed to click.

The Nun has no right to denigrate Orissa’s Crime Branch through her wild allegations without even experiencing how the CB works. Orissa Government is therefore absolutely right in refusing to hand over the case to CBI.

The Supreme Court’s refusal to direct the State for handing over the case to CBI should be read as the highest judicial recognition of the rights of a State Government to rely on its Crime Branch personnel for curbing of crimes.

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