Jhabua nuns’ gangrape: absconding accused arrested after 21 years

Jhabua, March 6, 2019: Twenty one years after four nuns were raped by 26 persons in the Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh, a 45-year-old absconding accused in the case has been nabbed, police said March 5.

Kalu Limji was arrested from Aamba village in the district the previous day, a police official said.

In September 1998, the accused, mostly tribals, raped the nuns at the Priti Sharan Mission at Naupara village in the predominantly tribal district. Nauapara is 25 km from the district headquarters.

Of the 26 accused, 24 were arrested immediately after the incident, police said. Nine were awarded life imprisonment by a local court, while 13 others were acquitted.

Limji was one of the two accused absconding. He “was arrested at Aamba village under Kalidevi police station after a tip-off,” Jhabua district Superintendent of Police Vineet Jain told reporters.

Limji earlier worked as a laborer in neighboring Gujarat, the police official said.

Police personnel in plain clothes posed as district level officers and after reaching the village began enquiring about the number of ‘pucca’ houses there and if there was a toilet facility in each house, Jain said.

“When Limji arrived there on a motorcycle, someone called him to ask if he wanted to become beneficiary of the government scheme. As soon as he came there, police arrested him,” he said.

The other accused Bachchu is still absconding, he added.

The nuns – three of them were aged between 20 and 25 while the fourth was over 30 – had come from Tamil Nadu to set up Priti Sharan and had made the village their home.

The then Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh, who visited Jhabua soon after the incident, had insinuated that the gang-rape was a conspiracy by Hindu organizations against the minority Christian community.

(Source: Press Trust of India)

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