Indian Catholic missionaries raped, killed
Bhubaneshwar, India, Aug.26,2008 (vaticans.org) - An orphanage run by Catholic missionaries has been burnt by Hindu extremists killing one woman while another was raped, reports from India say.
The International Herald Tribune quotes a senior police officer as saying the woman who died was most likely a lay employee giving computer training to children at the orphanage not a nun as reported earlier.
"Police are investigating. ... The woman most probably was not a nun," said Gopal Chandra Nanda, director general of state police, the most senior officer in the state.
The conflicting reports could not immediately be reconciled. George Abraham, secretary to the archbishop of Delhi, said the identity of the woman had not yet been confirmed because the orphanage was in a remote area.
The attack occurred in Khuntapali, a village in Orissa state, during a strike called by the World Hindu Council to protest the killing Saturday of a Hindu religious leader and four others by suspected communist rebels in another district of the state, Ashok Biswal, superintendent of police, told The Associated Press.
Biswal said on Monday a group of Hindu hardliners converged on the orphanage in Khuntapali, nearly 400 kilometres west of the state capital of Bhubaneshwar, and asked nearly 20 residents to leave the complex.
They then set the orphanage on fire with the woman and priest locked inside, he said.
The woman died and the priest was hospitalised with serious burns, Biswal said.
AsiaNews says that tensions in Orissa are still running high.
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