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Priest Accused Of Sexual Misconduct Attacked, Then Arrested

ICC Note: Hindus accuse Catholic priest of sexual abuse after church takes disciplinary action against five girls in their school.

2/13/08 INDORE, India (UCAN) — Police in Madhya Pradesh state arrested a Catholic priest on Feb. 12 after Hindu radicals attacked him, accusing him of misbehaving with five girls in a Church-run hostel.

Father Joseph Kappiliparampil of Ujjain diocese, now detained in a police lockup, was expected to be produced in court on Feb. 13. Meanwhile the diocese is trying to get him released on bail, diocesan spokesperson Father Hans Puthiakulangara told UCA News on Feb. 13.

Father Kappiliparampil heads Ambodiya parish, which runs a school and Sanjeevan (life restoring) Girls Hostel. Ujjain diocese is based near Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain town, 775 kilometers south of New Delhi.

Sister Rosbin Kurian, who manages the hostel, told UCA News the allegation against the priest is baseless. The St. Martha’s nun said such allegations are concocted to scare the priest and nuns from the place. Hindu radicals also claim the nuns are the priest’s wives, she noted. The hostel, priest’s residence and convent share the same compound.

The events leading to the priest’s arrest began around noon on Feb. 12 in the hostel, the nun recalled. As the girls were having lunch and the nuns were resting, she heard “a big noise” from a crowd outside the hostel building.

A local Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS, national volunteer crops) leader who led the crowd was shouting that the priest sexually harassed five girls. He did not elaborate on the allegations. The RSS is an umbrella body of organizations that want to make India a Hindu nation.

Although Sister Kurian explained to the police that the allegations were baseless, police arrested the priest and locked him in a cell in the police station, the nun said. She also noted that the hostel had earlier taken disciplinary action against the five girls, aged between 10 and 15… [Go To Full Story]