In a major development, the Kerala police have booked seven more persons under POCSO, including five nuns, in the rape of a minor girl allegedly by a priest. These seven people have been booked for allegedly helping Father Robin Vadakkumchery cover up the rape, and the resultant pregnancy of the 16-year-old.
Police sources have told TNM that Thankamma Nelliyani, who aided the survivor during her pregnancy and childbirth has been named as Accused no. 2. Dr Tessy Jose, a nun and gynaecologist at Christu Raj Hospital Thokkilangadi, who delivered the survivorâ€™s child, is Accused no. 3 in the case. Dr Hyderali and Sr Ancy Mathew, the hospital administrator, are Accused No. 4 and 5.
Liz Maria, a nun from a convent in Thonichal who helped the priest hide the crime, Sr Aneesha, a nun at an orphanage where the infant want taken to, and Sr Ophilia, the Supernatant of the Orphanage are Accused No. 6, 7 and 8.
All the accused will be charged under POCSO, so they will not be able to get bail, police sources told TNM. All the accused will be arrested soon, the police said.
The main accused in the case, Fr 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, Asha*, was a student at the school.
Asha gave birth to a baby on February 7 at a private hospital in Kannur. The police say that Asha was admitted to the hospital after she complained of stomach pain. Asha's 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.
*Name changed to protect identity.