Main accused in Kandhamal gang rape held

Main accused in Kandhamal gang rape held

"We have arrested Gururam Patra from Dharampur area of the district Sunday evening," investigating officer B.K. Mohanty told IANS.

Patra had allegedly led the mob that attacked the nun at K. Nuagaon village in the district Aug 24 last year and raped her.With Patra's arrest, the total number of people held in the case has gone up to 19. Mohanty said at least 11 accused in the case are absconding and efforts are on to nab them.

Kandhamal district, about 200 km from here, witnessed widespread communal violence after the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides at his ashram Aug 23 last year. Police had blamed Maoists for the killings.

At least 38 people were killed in the state and thousands of Christians forced to flee their homes after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs.