Kozhikode, Nov 19, 2016: A central government employee has demanded action against CSI, Nadakavu St Mary’s English Church parish priest, Jain T A for making sexual advances towards her through e-mail and chat communication.
The complainant alleged that the Malabar diocese of the Church of South India, instead of protecting the believer, was trying to protect the accused priest.
"The clergy secretary of the bishop even told me "there are so many other churches in Kozhikode" indirectly telling me to move out of St Mary’s Church instead of seeking action against the offender," said the complainant woman at a news conference on Nov 14.
The complainant is a widow and is working in a central government office in Kolkata.
According to her, she contacted the priest on August 16 to request him to pray on the birthday of her daughter.
"He offered special prayer and I thanked him. But he did not stop there; instead he continued chatting with me even though I tried to avoid it. Slowly he started crossing the limit and I warned him many times. It was a real shocker for me to expect such behaviour from a parish priest," the woman said amid tears.
"Later I approached the bishop with a complaint and copies of the email chats by the priest. The bishop assured me to take proper action. The priest was later transferred to the St Mathews Church at Nilambur on September 29.
However, he was transferred to Nadakkavu again in 33 days. Though I did not object to the bishop’s decision, I wanted them to ask my consent before reversing his transfer.
Instead of listening to my grievances, the clergy secretary of the bishop challenged me to take the legal route. This forced me to approach the district police chief with the help of Anweshi Women Counselling Centre," the woman added.
"After she approached us we also tried to contact the Church authorities and they repeated their stance to us also," said K Ajitha, president of Anweshi. Nadakkavu police have registered a case and have charged the priest under Section 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code.