Kerala crime branch to probe sexual assault allegations against 5 priests

kerala | 29 June 2018 10:46 AM (UTC)
Sanjana Santhosh
Highlights

The DGP decided to act after the state police were criticised over their negligence to register the case in alleged sexual assault, though the victim had not complained.

Kerala DGP Lokanath Behera has handed over the investigation of sexual assault allegations against five priests in Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala, to the crime branch.

 

The DGP decided to act after the state police were criticised over their negligence to register the case in alleged sexual assault, though the victim had not complained. 

Police noted that they could not probe the allegations as FIR was not registered so far.

 

Meanwhile, State Human Rights Commission asked the police to record a case on the incident.

 

In a letter to the DGP, Administrative Reforms Commission chairman VS Achuthanandan demanded a probe into the incidents. After this, DGP initiated action and handed over the case to the crime branch.

 

The woman, who was allegedly sexually abused by the priests, has not registered any complaint yet. Her husband had filed a complaint to the Malankara Orthodox Church earlier. But the police said without the victim's complaint case cannot be registered.

 

Currently, Malankara Orthodox Church’s head bishop, Catholicos Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, has temporarily suspended the five priests.

The victim had confessed to a priest about her relationship with a man before marriage, during her daughter's baptism. The priest shared her confession with more than five priests and then they blackmailed her and started to abuse her physically, according to her husband.

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