The Crime Branch in Kerala booked four priests belonging to the Malankara Orthodox Church, on charges of rape and molestation of a woman. The priests had attempted to settle the case of sexual abuse but the Kerala government had ordered an investigation by the crime branch. Here’s everything you need to know about the case.
A resident of Thiruvalla complained that five priests of the Malankara Orthodox church have been sexually abusing his wife for several years, following one of the offenders threatening her with one of her confessions.
The case has been filed against Priests Abraham Varghese (Sony), Jaise K George, Job Mathew and Johnson V Mathew, as reported by Mathrubhumi News. The accused demanded sexual favours by blackmailing the woman. They threatened to tell her husband about her previous relationship.
On June 29, Kerala’s DGP Loknath Behera ordered the Crime Branch to start a probe. This came up after the state police faced increasing pressure for failing to register a suo motu case, reports The News Minute. By then, the victim’s husband had already revealed to the media that his wife was sexually abused.
The woman’s husband alleged that he had complained to the church but it had not taken any action against the offending priests. The cops stepped up after criticism emanated from the National Commission of Women (NCW). Communist leader VS Achuthanandan even wrote to the DGP to start a probe. Though the woman’s husband complained of five priests, sources in the police department told the media that the victim named only four.
The church has removed the accused priests from their duties and placed them on leave. It did not report the crime or take any form of disciplinary action, as per reports.Read More