Fr Peelianickal stripped of priest duties over agri-loan fraud

Fr Peelianickal stripped of priest duties over agri-loan fraud

Christian priest Fr Thomas Peelianickal, who was removed from the post of executive director by the Kuttanad Vikasana Samiti (KVS) over loan frauds, has now been stripped of responsibilities as priest by the Changanassery diocese.

The Church, bogged down by a series of charges which include rape, was forced to take action against Fr Peelianickal after a series of charges of agriculture loan fraud.

He was accused of availing of loans for self-help groups for farmers using forged documents. There were charges that he also demanded a share of the amount from farmers whose loans were sanctioned.

The priest had sought anticipatory bail in June but was taken into custody by the crime branch when his plea was rejected.

The fraud was unearthed when one Shaji received a bank recovery notice for a loan he had not taken. A KVS joint liability group of farmers took Rs 5 lakh loan from Canara Bank in his name, even when he was not a group member.

There are six cases against Fr Peelianickal. The other accused in the fraud is NCP leader and Veliyanad block panchayat member Rojo Joseph, who is absconding.