India's police arrest four Bangladeshi nationals over gang rape of nun

Indian police officials escort suspect Gopal Sarkar (centre) towards a court appearance in Ranaghat on March 27, 2015. The Indian police said on Wednesday, April 1, that they have arrested four Bangladeshi nationals in connection with the rape of an
Indian police officials escort suspect Gopal Sarkar (centre) towards a court appearance in Ranaghat on March 27, 2015. The Indian police said on Wednesday, April 1, that they have arrested four Bangladeshi nationals in connection with the rape of an elderly nun last month that sent shockwaves through the Christian community. -- PHOTO: AFP

KOLKATA (AFP) - The Indian police said on Wednesday they have arrested four Bangladeshi nationals in connection with the rape of an elderly nun that sent shockwaves through the Christian community.

Deputy inspector general Dilip Kumar Adak said police tracked the suspects down to the northern state of Punjab after CCTV images and e-fit images were circulated nationwide. "Four more Bangladeshi nationals resembling the photographs and sketches of the suspects in the rape and robbery at the Convent of Jesus and Mary High School in Ranaghat have been arrested," he said.

Two other suspects in the case are already in custody after they were arrested last week. Insp-Gen Adak said police had identified all eight people who broke into the convent using CCTV footage. One had been hired by the nuns to do construction work, he said.

The nun, who is in her 70s, needed surgery after she was attacked last month when a gang of robbers broke into the convent school in the eastern state of West Bengal where she lived.

India is reportedly home to tens of thousands of Bangladeshis who officials say cross illegally into the country, mainly through borders in West Bengal, Tripura and Assam.

The two countries share a 4,000km border, part of which has been fenced by India in a bid to prevent illegal immigrants sneaking into its north-eastern states.

The immigration issue has driven a wedge between north-east India's Bengali-speaking population and local tribal and ethnic inhabitants, with Muslims bearing the brunt of decades of mistrust.