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Kerala: Church priest held under POCSO, removed from official duties

Kochi: An orthodox church priest was arrested for allegedly molesting a 15-year-old girl in Muvattupuzha, police said on Friday.
According to the press statement issued by Ernakulam Rural Police, an orthodox church priest Shemavoon Ramba, a native of Pathanamthitta and aged 77 years was arrested for allegedly molesting a 15-year-old girl in Muvattupuzha. The priest has been removed from official duties after the alleged incident, the police said.

"The incident happened on April 3. As per the complaint received by the police, the priest allegedly molested the minor girl in the church. The police registered a case based on the girl's complaint", reads the statement.
The priest has been charged under the POCSO act, the police said.

The police said, "The priest was called to the police station this morning and arrested. The priest, a native of Pathanamthitta, came to the church in Muvattupuzha temporarily as part of the Easter celebration."

The investigation team includes Inspector PH Sameesh, Sub Inspector KP Siddhique, Additional Sub Inspector MS Manoj and Shalvi Augustine, as informed by the police.
Earlier in March this year, a priest was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in Kerala's Pathanamthitta district.
The accused was identified as Pondson John connected with St Mary's Syrian Orthodox Church.

The alleged incident happened on March 12 and 13. The Class 12 student was taken for counselling by the priest.
According to the Police, the Class 12 student in her complaint said that the priest misbehaved with her when she went for counselling on March 12 and 13.
The police registered a case under sections 3,4,7 and 8 of the POCSO Act.

While a Kerala court in January last year acquitted Bishop Franco Mulakkal in the nun rape case.
The complaint was filed by a nun wherein she alleged that she was raped 13 times by Mulakkal between 2014 and 2016 when he was a bishop in the Missionaries of Jesus, Jalandhar diocese.

The complaint was filed on June 27, 2018, and Franco Mulakkal was arrested on September 21 on charges of 7 IPC sections including rape. The prosecution had examined 39 witnesses in the case.
The trial in the case began in November 2019. After three long years, it was finally completed on Monday, January 10, 2022. (ANI)

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