Teenage girl raped at Bangalore convent
Follows rape of a 6-year-old in same southern Indian city
A teenage girl living in a Catholic convent on the outskirts of Bangalore city was raped and left unconscious on Wednesday, with police and Church officials saying the attack is symptomatic of the increase in rape crimes in India.
The victim, 16, her friend and a senior nun were alone in the convent of Sisters of Holy Nativity in Henner when the afternoon attack occurred. The girl was on the ground floor at the time, while the other two were resting elsewhere.
Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore said that the victim heard the doorbell ring and answered the door. She then had a substance sprayed in her face.
The teenager was discovered in the early afternoon half-naked and unconscious in a gap between the walls of the building and the outside compound. She was then taken to a nearby clinic and later to a hospital, Archbishop Moras said.
According to Moras, the girl told convent superiors there were at least two people involved in the attack.
It follows the alleged rape of a six-year-old girl in a Bangalore school by two staff members on July 2. Two men, a sports teacher and an assistant, have been detained by police.
Police investigating the latest incident have so far not made any arrests. "We are investigating," said S. Siddappa, Additional Commissioner of Police in Bangalore, adding that medical examinations confirmed it was rape. "It is the work of some criminals and nothing to do with any religious hatred."
He further noted that the incident was reported to police on Thursday, "almost 24 hours after" the criminals escaped, making the investigation harder.
Archbishop Moras said the staff at the convent were "in a state of shame and shock" which delayed reporting the crime to police.
He added that the crime should not be seen as an attack on Christianity. "It is part of a growing problem across India," he said.
Almost three people are raped every hour on average in India, according to statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau. Last year police recorded 24,923 rape cases, including the rape of minors.
"The sad part is that the central issue of morality is going down in the country. People seem to be not taking rape seriously," Moras said.
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