Action in Kerala rape-accused priests case after court hearing: Police

Kochi, July 8: The Kerala Police is waiting for the outcome of the anticipatory bail plea filed in the Kerala High Court by two of the four Orthodox priests, accused of sexually abusing a woman parishioner, before proceeding in the case, officials said. If the court, which will hear the matter on Monday, turns down the plea, the accused priests of the Malankara Orthodox Church will be arrested, said informed sources.

All four accused are now on the run, but the sources say that police has tracked them down and is waiting for the court verdict, which will come out on Monday, to take further steps. Police have come under further pressure with the National Commission for Women monitoring the case. Even the court, when it first heard the bail petition last week, refused any relief to the accused, who had sought a direction that police not arrest till the bail petition is disposed.

It was alleged that five priests sexually abused a woman for a decade but police charged four of them under sections of rape and similar charges, citing the woman’s complaint in which only four names were mentioned. The police action came after the victim’s husband complained that one of the priests who first exploited his wife was blackmailing her. When she sought help from another priest, he too threatened her and shared her contact with a fellow priest and in the end, she came under the duress from at least five priests. (IANS)