Sister Ophilia, the eight accused in the case, was charged with not informing Child Welfare Committee about the child.

Kerala Christian priest child rape case Nun accused of helping cover-up seeks anticipatory bail
news Child Abuse Wednesday, March 08, 2017 - 09:59

One of the nuns who was booked under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (Pocso) for allegedly helping the accused priest Robin Vadakkumcherry of Kannur covering up the rape of a minor, has approached the Kerala High Court seeking an anticipatory bail.

Sister Ophilia is the Superintendent of the Holy infant Mary orphanage at Wayanad, where the child of the rape survivor was taken immediately after the delivery.

The 16-year-old rape survivor had given birth to the child at Christu Raj Hospital in Thokkilangadi and was shifted to the orphanage.

Sister Ophilia, the eight accused in the case, was charged with not informing Child Welfare Committee about the child. In her bail petition, she has said that she had not hid anything and that she maintained all the records of the child. She also claimed that that she was not aware that the child’s mother was a minor.

HC division bench postponed the case to March 10 for hearing. Apart from Ophilia, four other nuns have also been charged with POCSO, in relation to the case. Two nuns from Christu Raj Hospital including a gynaecologist, another nun Sister Aneesha at the orphanage and Liz Maria, a nun from a convent in Thonichal were charged with helping the priest.

All the accused in the case, except the main accused Robin, have been absconding. Father Robin is on remand in Kannur Sub Jail.

Father Robin, who was posted at the Church run by Catholic Diocese of Mananthavady (Wayanad) in Kannur district almost two-and-a-half years ago, also served as the manager of a school attached to the church. The survivor was a student at the school.

The survivor gave birth to a baby on February 7 at a private hospital in Kannur. The police say that she was admitted to the hospital after she complained of stomach pain. Her parents kept her in the dark about the childbirth and told her that she was operated on for appendicitis.

The incident came in to light after Childline officials of the district received an anonymous letter.

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