The National Commission for Women (NCW) has taken suo motu cognisance of the incident in Kerala where five priests have been suspended over allegations of sexually exploiting a married woman.
NCW has written to the DGP and State Police Chief of Kerala directing him to investigate the matter and apprise the Commission about the detailed action.Statement from The National Commission for Women
According to the Commission, there have been reports saying that the woman's husband was heard, in a video, saying that he has been facing pressure from the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church authorities to withdraw the complaint.
The incident, which happened in Kottayam-headquartered Malankara Orthodox Church, was reported after the victim's husband complaint about it to the secretary of the Church Biju Oommen.
According to Oommen, the five priests have been suspended and a probe has been ordered.
Earlier, speaking to The News Minute, the church said the onus was on the woman to file a police complaint in this regard.
The woman’s husband has raised serious allegations against the priests of various dioceses. He had said that his wife’s confessional secret was used by the priests to blackmail her into giving sexual favours. However, neither the Thiruvalla native nor his wife has filed a police complaint so far.
Asked why the church has not approached the police, a top church official said that it is the woman who should approach the police and file a complaint.
“What is stopping the woman from going to the police? Why should we approach the police when we have taken cognisance of the complaint and formed an internal committee to inquire? Suppose this was a case involving a minor, we would have approached the police ourselves. But in this case, the woman is an adult and she can seek the help of police if she wants to,” the official said.
(With IANS inputs)
(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)