Irish aid worker raped in India

Police in India have arrested a hotel management graduate who is alleged to have raped a young Irish woman working in Calcutta for a charity founded by Mother Teresa.

The 21-year-old joined the Missionaries of Charity only a couple of weeks ago after working for the Edith Wilkins Street Children Foundation in nearby Darjeeling.

Ms Wilkins said she had twice been in contact with the victim, who she declined to identify.

“Obviously, she is totally and absolutely distraught. Her family is receiving total support from the Irish embassy,” the Cork-based charity founder said.

The young woman claims she was raped by 35-year-old Sujoy Mitra after meeting him in a Calcutta nightclub last Friday while celebrating her birthday. She told police they then went to a friend’s home.

The woman said that, after a short time there, they left to go to the man’s home where the rape allegedly took place.

She managed to leave the house on Saturday morning and went to friends, who advised her to report the attack to police and accompanied her to a station. Shortly after the complaint was made, officers raided the suspect’s house and arrested him.

“As an organisation, all our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and her family,” Ms Wilkins said.

She said her foundation had four female volunteers working with it in Darjeeling, all of whom are safe.

Ms Wilkins was named Rehab International Person of the Year for her work on behalf of impoverished children in India.

She said recent reports of serious rapes in India “raised concerns”, but added that her volunteers were protected at all times and were “not allowed to go out unless they were accompanied by other people”.

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