Kerala police have registered a case against six women, including three nuns, in connection with the rape of a 16-year-old girl by a Catholic priest at Neendunoki in Kottiyoor, Kannur. The women are employees of an orphanage in Wayanad run by a congregation under the church and one doctor of Christu Raj Hospital at Koothuparamba. 

The police have registered a case against hospital staff for not informing authorities about the incident, though they were aware that the girl was a minor, and orphanage staff for failure to inform authorities after the newborn was illegally shifted there. 

"As per our understanding, more women, including few nuns, are involved in the efforts to hush up the incident. We will be arresting more persons after clearly establishing their roles. The arrested are booked under Juvenile Justice Act and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act," a police officer said. 

The police submitted a report to the government about a suspected foul play by Child Welfare Committee (CWC) in Wayanad. 

The press release issued by CWC had stated that all legal procedures were fulfilled while accepting the infant from his mother. The baby was kept at Holy Infant Mary Convent, without informing the Committee and hence action will be taken against the convent, the press release said. 

However, an investigation conducted by Asianet News revealed that the Convent authorities had informed CWC about the incident, but the Committee did not visit the Convent to collect evidence and insisted that infant's mother should approach them. It was only after 26 days that Father Thomas Therakam issued a show cause notice to the Convent. The notice was issued by email on March 2, just a day before investigation team visited the orphanage and CWC office to collect evidence. 

Meanwhile, CWC had issued surrender certificate on February 20, the day on which infant was handed over to Committee. As per the provisions of surrender certificate, the mother would not have any right on the baby after 60 days, and the child can be given out for adoption to anyone after the stipulated period. 

It was also found that CWC failed to inform the incident to authorities though they were aware that the girl was a minor.