NEW DELHI – A Roman Catholic nun who accused a Hindu mob of raping her said Friday that she will not cooperate with local police, alleging that they stood by idly during the attack.
Hiding her head and face behind a scarf, the nun told reporters that she was raped after a mob attacked a Christian prayer hall on Aug. 25 in the eastern state of Orissa.
In her first public comments, the nun said a group of about 50 men tore off her clothes and raped her. Later, she said, she was paraded naked, together with a priest, past several policeman who refused to help her.
When she arrived at the police station, officers tried to dissuade her from filing a complaint, she said.
"I was raped and now I don't want to be victimized by Orissa police," she said, calling for a federal investigation.
Orissa police have been harshly criticized for waiting more than a month to begin investigating the attack and only taking steps after the story appeared in news reports.
Police said they had been waiting for a medical report confirming a rape in order to begin their investigation. Police have since detained five men, though it was unclear whether they have been charged with any crime.
The Associated Press does not normally identify people who say they are the victims of sex crimes. The authorities did not provide her age or nationality.
The violence between Hindus and Christians followed the killing of a Hindu religious leader. Police blamed Maoist rebels, but conservative Hindu groups blamed Christian residents and set fire to a Christian orphanage.
The state government said 32 people died in the ensuing clashes. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India said at least 40 Christians were killed.
Relations are usually peaceful between Christians, who make up 2.5 percent of India's 1.1 billion people, and Hindus, who account for more than 80 percent.
However, Orissa has a history of anti-Christian violence with hard-line Hindu groups claiming Christian missionary groups are forcing or bribing people to convert to Christianity, charges denied by Christian leaders.