Church priest arrested for harassing woman

Coimbatore: A priest was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly sexually harassing a young woman while conducting special prayers to relieve her of stomach pain at a church in Sanganoor on Monday. The priest was remanded in judicial custody and lodged at Coimbatore central prison on Tuesday night. Police identified him as P Isaac alias Palanisamy, 57, from Saibaba Colony. He was a priest at the Church of Bethesda in Sanganoor.

The Thudiyalur police said, a 22-year-old woman from Madanga Kovilpatti near Alangulam in Virudhunagar district had been suffering from severe stomach pain for several years.

On Monday, the woman, with her relatives, went to the church where Isaac said he would arrange a special prayer. Later, the woman was asked to receive special prayers in a private chamber. Alone with her, the priest placed his hand on the woman’s abdomen and began a prayer. Subsequently, she was asked to remove her clothes. Suspecting something was amiss, she left the chamber.

The victim lodged a complaint against the church priest at Thudiyalur police station on Tuesday afternoon.
More than 100 Hindu Munnani members had gone to the church to attack the priest on Tuesday. However, Thudiyalur police got information and rushed to the spot. Immediately, the police escorted the priest to the police station and registered a case against him under section 354 A (sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code.
He was arrested and later remanded to judicial custody. Further investigation is on.
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