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Chhattisgarh: Christian priest, Shalom Babu Tandi, accused of raping a minor girl who was in his care, absconding from arrest

A case under IPC sections 376 (rape) and provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) was registered. The accused Chrisitan priest is now on the run efforts to nab the accused has already started, the SP said.

In yet another barbaric incident committed by Chrisitan priests, a girl has been allegedly raped by a pastor in Jashpur district of Chhattisgarh. Reportedly, a Christian priest named Shalom Babu Tandi has been booked by Pathalgaon police station for the alleged rape of a minor girl in his care.

The complaint states that Tandi had promised girl’s parents that he will look after the education of their daughter and brought her to his place in Pathalgaon. The parents of the victim lived in neighbouring Surguja district. The police said that he allegedly sexually exploited the girl and threatened her with dire consequences if she revealed it to anyone.

After the girl revealed to her parents that she was sexually exploited by Christian priests, the parents approached the police. A case under IPC sections 376 (rape) and provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) was registered.

The accused Chrisitan priest is now on the run and efforts to nab the accused has already started, the SP said.

There has been a dangerous trend of repeated cases of rape and other abusive incidents at Churches across the world. Unfortunately, India is not immune to this plague either. Christian priest and churches, like most cases worldwide, have been targeting the poor, destitute for their crimes but the cases go unnoticed.

However, in India, the crimes have been coming into public domain lately. There have been several incidents of sexual harassment and other abuse by Church officials and priests.

In 2018, a 45-year-old Christian priest was booked for the brutal rape an 11-year old girl in Vallampadu, Andhra Pradesh. In July 2017, Father Saji Joesph, a priest who was the director of a children’s home in Kerala’s Wayanad district, was arrested after allegations of sexually abusing minor boys.

Franco Mulakkal, a Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, was arrested and released on bail later for allegedly raping a 44-year old nun at a guest house in Kuravilangad in May 2014.

Similarly, Father Johnson V Mathew, a priest of Malankara Orthodox church was accused in the rape and sexual abuse of a married woman belonging to the fold was arrested in July 2018.

In February, the Mysuru police had arrested three pastors (religious leaders associated with protestant Churches) for allegedly raping a teenager in Mangaluru. All the three Christian priests have now been charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, as per reports.

In another incident, a 60-year-old pastor named Chandra Kumar belonging to a local church in Nagaland was arrested for allegedly raping a 10-year-old girl in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district.

In another incident, a 33-year old Catholic priest, Father Prakash Damor was arrested in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh for abetting a 17-year-old girl’s suicide.

Recently, a special Mahila Court in Cuddalore had sentenced a church priest to 30 years in prison and nine others to life in prison for their involvement in the horrifying 2014 Tittakudi rape case, which involved two minor girls.

In September, a 68-year-old Christian priest of the Syro Malabar Church named Father George Padayattil, the vicar of Holy Cross Church in Chendamangalam in Ernakulam district, was booked for the rape of three 9-year-old girls

Similarly, a Class IX student had died in October at GBP hospital after being allegedly tortured repeatedly by the warden of Holy Cross School, Tripura. In November this year, thirty-seven Catholic priests from different parishes in Mysuru had written to Pope Francis to remove the Bishop of Mysore KA William over his alleged involvement in criminal offences, misappropriation of funds and sexual misconduct.

Maria Antony Raj, a 60-year-old the catholic priest, who is the correspondent of the St Mary’s High School in the Gandhipuram area of Coimbatore was arrested for forcing the girl students to open sexually explicit content on his mobile phone.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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