Kolkata: A Kolkata court today sentenced a Bangladeshi man to imprisonment till death for raping a 72-year old nun during a dacoity at a convent in West Bengal's Ranaghat town two years back.
Six convicts sentenced to varying jail terms in a rape and dacoity case did not deserve any mercy, Kolkata sessions court judge Kumkum Sinha said, pronouncing the quantum of punishment.
They committed the 'heinous' crime of vandalizing a place of worship and committing sexual atrocities on an aged nun at the Jesus and Mary Convent at Ranaghat in Nadia district in 2015, the court said. Quoting from Oscar Wilde's 'The Selfish Giant', the judge said Jesus Christ, in the guise of a child, had told the giant that 'these are the wounds of love,' when inquired about inflicted wounds on his palm and feet.
"But in this case, these are not the wounds of love and the convicts do not deserve mercy," Judge Sinha said while sentencing the six convicts.
Observing that the spirit of probation was not applicable to any of the convicts, Sinha said, "There can be no mercy to someone who destroyed the virginity of a nun and to those who vandalized a place of worship."
In her order, the judge noted that the convicts had been accused by the West Bengal CID, the investigating agency, of ransacking and looting the convent for nearly three to four hours during the night of March 14, 2015.
The observations came after five of the six convicts claimed that they were from financially downtrodden families and had children and aged parents to take care of and pleaded for a shorter imprisonment term. Nazrul Islam, who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment till death for the rape of the nun, did not say anything before the pronouncement of the sentence. Stating that the age of all the convicts, apart from Gopal Sarkar, was between 25 and 32 years, the defense counsel prayed for leniency and a chance for rectification. Public prosecutor Dipak Ranjan Ghosh, however, pleaded for maximum sentence to all the convicts owing to the nature of the crime committed.
Stating that the crime was a unique incident given its nature, Ghosh said, "The way the 'tabernacle' (portable shrine) and the prayer hall at the convent were ransacked, it was an insult to their religion." After hearing both the defense and prosecution, the judge pronounced the quantum of sentence.