DGP Loknath Behera has said on Friday that the sexual exploitation of a woman by five priests of the Kottayam-headquartered Malankara Orthodox Church will be probed by the Crime Branch.
An Online News Portal revealed the scandal last week, following which National Women's Commission took up the issue. As the church feel the heat from both the media and public, the Church authorities had ordered an internal probe.
Though the diocesan authorities had put the five priests under suspension, the church was not ready to deny them the right to discharge their ecclesiastical duties.
The sex scandal came out when a member of the Niranam diocese, in Central Travancore, made a complaint of sexual exploitation of his wife by five priests. While four priests belong to the Niranam diocese, the fifth one is from the neighbouring Thumpamon diocese.
The complainant said that five priests were sexually exploiting his wife who is also a mother of two kids. The priests were repeatedly exploiting the woman sexually by blackmailing her based on a secret confession she had made to them earlier. Her confession was about a premarital relationship she had with another priest, who was also her relative. Based on this confession, the five accused priests blackmailed her for sexual favour. She had surrendered before this pressure.
The exploitation of a married woman by the priests, wrongfully using her confession, has come as a big shock to the community.
The husband knew about the sexual exploitation while accidentally checking the mailbox of his wife. He found the copies of hotel bills in her mail. When he questioned wife, she revealed all the stories.