Six nuns and a priest in Kerala who are likely to be arrested in connection with the case pertaining to another priest abusing and impregnating a school girl, are believed to be on the run. Five of the nuns have been named as accused in the case.
Police on Sunday refrained from pushing ahead with the arrests, but reports indicate that the accused are missing from their workplaces. The schoolgirl victim had given birth to a baby boy in early February and following an anonymous call to Child Line, the first accused, a Catholic priest attached to the Mananthavady diocese, Robin Vadakkumcherry, 48, was arrested.
Police believe there was an elaborate attempt to cover up the matter with the school girl being admitted to a Church-run hospital for delivery and the new-born taken to an orphanage run by nuns a day after birth.
The other accused in the case include two nuns who are doctors, Dr. Sr Tessy Jose and Dr. Sr Ancy Mathew, who work with the Christu Raja hospital at Thokkilanagadi where the schoolgirl delivered. Three other nuns who are accused, Sr Aneeta, Sr Ophelia and Sr Lissy Maria, are attached to the orphanage that took charge of the baby.
There are two more accused in the case, namely Dr. Haider Ali and Thankamma Nelliyani, a member of the mothers’ forum attached to the church. Police may also take into custody another priest, Thomas Therakam and a nun, Sr Betty, both members of the Child Welfare Committee of Wayanad district who did not report the matter of a schoolgirl giving birth. The priest and nun are believed to have gone into hiding.
All the accused in the case have been slapped with multiple charges under the provision of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (Pocso), under which it is difficult for the accused to obtain bail. Meanwhile, Congress veteran and former Kerala chief minister A.K. Antony said the priest involved in the case deserved “no mercy”. Antony said authorities should not give him the consideration of having been a priest while pursuing the case against him.
Source: Gulf News