These are the first chilling images of the alleged perpetrators of a chilling gang rape of a septuagenarian nun at a convent school in India.
The 71-year-old woman, who was the oldest nun at the school, was gang-raped by a group of bandits Saturday when she tried to prevent them from robbing a Christian missionary school in eastern India, police said, the latest crime to focus attention on the scourge of sexual violence in the country.
Superintendent Arnab Ghosh said five people are being held in connection with the crime, according to Sky News.
The nun was hospitalised in serious condition after being attacked by seven or eight men at the Convent of Jesus and Mary School in Nadia district, 50 miles northeast of the West Bengal state capital of Kolkata, a police officer said. She is now believed to be in a stable condition.
The robbers tied the school's security guards with ropes early Saturday and entered the nuns' room, where the women were sleeping. They took one of the nuns to another room when she tried to block their way and then raped her, the officer said.
The men escaped with some cash, a mobile phone, a laptop computer and a camera, all belonging to the school, the officer said. They also ransacked the school's chapel and holy items, the Press Trust of India news agency cited the archbishop of Kolkata, Thomas D'Souza.
Scores of angry students, their parents and teachers blocked a nearby highway and railroad tracks for several hours demanding swift police action leading to the arrest of the culprits.
Mamta Banerjee, the state's top elected official, strongly condemned the attack and ordered a high-level police investigation. D'Souza appealed to people to maintain peace and harmony in the area.
India has a long history of tolerance for sexual violence, but the December 2012 fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old woman aboard a moving bus in New Delhi caused outrage across the nation.
The outcry led the federal government to rush legislation doubling prison terms for rapists to 20 years and criminalizing voyeurism, stalking and the trafficking of women. The law also makes it a crime for officers to refuse to open cases when complaints are made.