A priest in Kerala gets arrested for sexually harassing the women during the Ayurveda treatment
A priest in Kerala gets arrested for sexually harassing the women during the Ayurveda treatment

Cases of sexual assault are quite shocking nowadays. A Kerala priest, who was accused of sexually assaulting a 22-year-old woman was arrested by Adimaly police in Idukki on Monday. The accused, recognized as 55-year-old Fr Reji Palakkadan, is the priest of Panikkankudy church, a Jacobite Syrian church, in Adimaly. As per the cops, the accused was also training as an ayurvedic medical practitioner. The woman had gone to him to seek treatment. Adimaly police station told a leading daily, “The woman accused the vicar of sexually assaulting her during the consultation. Following the incident, the woman, along with her parents, came to the police station to file a complaint. The accused was arrested last night. He was presented to the court and was remanded."

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The policemen also added that the woman had gone to the vicar for treatment of Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD). “The woman has complained that he touched her inappropriately under the pretext of examining her,” the official said. Palakkadan has been booked under sections 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 354 (A) (1) (Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code. 

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The police also told a leading daily that the vicar was not a registered ayurvedic medical practitioner. “It is not clear whether he has any qualifications. We have to probe that. But it is confirmed that he was practising without proper authorisation,” the official noted. This is not the first time that Kerala Christian priests have been accused of sexual assault and rape. Bishop Franco Mulakkal, a Kerala native, is accused of having raped a nun multiple times. He is under bail and is undergoing trial in the case.

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