Kannur: Bishop apologises to victim raped by priest

Kannur [India], Mar. 5 : Days after the arrest of Father Robin Vadakkumcherry over the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl in Kannur, the Bishop of Mananthavady has apologised to the victim asserting that the incident has brought shame upon the people of the diocese.

Earlier, the Bishop had removed the parish priest from the office of the vicar as per the Canon law. The victim was allegedly raped and impregnated by the parish priest, who is now in prison with a trial underway.

Meanwhile the police have registered case against eight people including two nuns for helping in covering up the issue.

They were charged with non-bailable offenses under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) for trying to cover up the rape.

Bishop of Mananthavady archdiocese, Jose Porunnedom has apologized to the survivor and her family. In a letter written to the people of the diocese the Bishop says, "How will I comfort the survivor, her parents and family? The lord is seeing your tears and I have also shed tears along with it.

I have only one thing to tell you...and that is "sorry". The lord will help you come out of this. I am praying and keeping all this before the lord. This is something that should have never happened." Calling on the members of the diocese and church representatives to remain strong in their faith, the Bishop asserted that he endured the pain and agony of the victim and her family and the parish community.

On February 25, an anonymous letter was received by the child line mentioning the incident, which was brought to the notice of Kelakam Police Station on the same evening.

A woman police officer met the victim Tuesday morning and recorded her statement. In the initial stages, the victim had given a statement that her own father had committed the crime. But on further questioning the parents of the victim, the truth was revealed and the accused was identified as the priest, who is also the manager of the school where the minor girl studied.

As per the statement, the incident took place in May, 2016. On getting the information, 48-year-old Father Robin absconded from the location. A team comprising Peravoor CI Sunil Kumar and Kelakam SI Pradeep TV located the accused and detained him.

Meanwhile, the police have said that the priest would be subjected to a DNA test to ascertain the charges against him.

Source: ANI