In a shocking incident, a Catholic priest who is also head of the school, has been arrested in the Jharkhand gang-rape case of five anti-trafficking activists.
According to the identification made by the victims during an identity parade, Father Alfonso Alien of the missionary school, from where the victims were abducted, and two others were arrested on 22 June. However, the priest was released on personal bail pending investigation.
A PTI report said that Alfonso allegedly asked the victims to accompany their abductors saying that they would be let off after some time. At the same time, he made the abductors release two Catholic nuns among them.
Gruesome details of the case have emerged, including the victims being forced to drink urine and being violated with pistols, branches and tobacco. The two other accused are associated with the Naxal outfit, Peoples Liberation Front of India (PLFI).
Meanwhile, the Catholic Church which has been facing institutional sex scandals and attempted cover-ups globally, has come out in support of the clergy Alfonso. The Bishop said that the women Catholic clergy, called 'missionary sisters', would be assisted by two lawyers. According to the Bishop, if needed the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), the apex Catholic body in India, would intervene.
The Bishop was at his evasive best when asked about the relation of the Church in instigating insurgency. He shifted the blame to the government refusing to condemn the terrorist outfits giving community decrees.
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