POCSO case against priest for allegedly molesting minor girls in Paravur
Paravur: Vadakkekkara police registered a POCSO case against Fr George Padayatty (68), vicar of Holy Cross Church in Chendamanagalam for allegedly molesting three nine-year-old girls.
Police said, the priest assaulted the girls when they came to the church for praying. The incident took place one month ago. George is also the manager of the school situated near the church. Students of the school visit the church during free hours for prayer.
One girl who grew suspicious about the behaviour of the priest informed the matter to a teacher at the school. The teacher then alerted the girl's parents and child line activists. In the following inquiry, it was found that three girls were assaulted by the priest.
Girls who were assaulted by the priest gave secret statement before the magistrate. However, parents had no interest in registering a case.
Finally, a case was registered after child line activists intervened in the issue. The priest has been charged under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act), said an official at Vadakkekkara police station.
As the incident came to light, the priest left the church citing that he was going for a treatment for his eyes. Police are investigating.
A source in the Syro-Malabar Church said the priest has been suspended by the Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese. He has been directed to cooperate with the police investigation into the incident, sources said.
(With PTI inputs)