Priest held for alleged sexual assault on woman in Kerala

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The Kerala police on Tuesday arrested a Christian priest for allegedly sexually assaulting a 22-year-old woman in Idukki on Monday.

Police said the priest Reji Palakkadan, also an Ayurveda practitioner, was held following a complaint filed by the woman’s parents.

Palakkadan was running an Ayurveda clinic in Adimali as part of the church and the woman had visited the facility for treatment on Monday, police said. In their complaint, the parents said their daughter was assaulted by the priest in the name of treatment. The accused also threatened her not to reveal the incident to anyone. But she later narrated her plight to her parents who then filed a complaint with the police.

Circle Inspector Anil George said the accused was booked under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code (assault or criminal force on a woman with intent to outrage her modesty).

“The accused priest was known as a doctor in the area. We will also examine his educational qualifications and other details. He will be produced in the court later in the day” George said.

The church is yet to react to the incident.

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