India rape
The nun was allegedly sexually assaulted by a group of bandits who broke into a convent school near the town of Ranaghat in West Bengal and ransacked the premisesGetty

The Indian police have arrested a suspect involved in the gang-rape of a 71-year-old nun in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, 12 days after the incident.

The 30-year-old suspect has been identified as Sikandar Shaikh and was picked up from Mumbai on Thursday (26 March).

On 14 March, the nun was allegedly sexually assaulted by a group of bandits who broke into a convent school near the town of Ranaghat in West Bengal and ransacked the premises.

The bandits assaulted three other nuns at the convent before fleeing with a mobile phone, a laptop and money belonging to the school.

As soon as the incident was reported, police detained 10 people for questioning but had not made any arrests. Later, the police released CCTV footage of four of the culprits wanted in connection with the gang-rape.

On Thursday, the West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department in a joint operation with the Mumbai police arrested Sikandar Shaikh from his friend's residence in Nagpada, South Mumbai.

Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria told The Indian Express: "The West Bengal team had the lead, they shared the information with us and sought our assistance. The assistance was provided and the accused was arrested from the Nagpada area and has been taken away by the Bengal team."

The accused will now be taken to Kolkata for further investigation.

Reports suggest that the bandits involved in the incident are believed to have crossed the Indian border from Bangladesh and returned to the country after committing the crime.

The incident had sparked massive protests in India, even as the country is working on major reforms in rape laws, speedier trials and harsher punishments.