In Tamil Nadu, girls and women have no safe place from sexual predators. Be it schools, college, working places, places of worship, nowhere it is any longer safer for them. The arrest of church pastor John Robert in Tamil Nadu is shocking and an eye opener. He was part of the Punithar Arul Anandhar Church in Rameswaram’s Mandapam area. Like Kerala, most of the Christian pastors think they have license to indulge in sexual escapades with nuns, treating them as their sexual toys to satisfy their sexual urges.
In the current case, the clergy John Robert (46), son of Alphonse of Aandhichi Oorani village near Kalayarkovil befriended with teen aged (15-17 age group) girls and married young women and collected their cellphone numbers. It is alleged that he started sending obscene videos, forwards to them. He also proposed to marry them individually. On the pretext some urgent tasks in the church call them to church. He allegedly sexually harassed and molested the minors who came to church on his invitation. This incident was kept secret for a long time. The diocese did not take any action. Emboldened by this, the clergy continued his immoral activities.
Left with no options, the victims filed a complaint with the Child Welfare Department (CWD) of the Tamil Nadu government. Based on that complaint, officials investigated the accused John Robert in a very secret manner and found truth in the charges. CWD filed a complaint against the pastor of the Arul Anandadhar church at the local Mandapam police station after the allegations of molestation were proved to be true. After that, the police arrested the accused under the POCSO Act.
Meanwhile, Christian Reformist People Association founder D Devasahayam has exposed financial irregularities in Church of South India (CSI). He told Organiser “in 1947, South Indian diocese was spilt into 14 Diocesan. One of them is Madurai-Ramanathapuram diocesan in which Madurai, Dindugal, Virdhunagar, Theni, Sivaganga, Ramathapuram districts are part of it. It has a lot of churches, schools, colleges, hospitals and commercial complexes. Madurai CSI diocese has been registered under cooperative society rules 1962 as Madurai-Ramnad Diocesan (8/1962). All receipts and expenditures details have to be shown to the society but only funds come from foreign countries are only being accounted. Membership subscription, Dental College and income from other educational institutions are accounted in other association account. Annual financial reports, income and expenditure accounts were not submitted to the registrar. I have filed a case in Madras High Court claiming new form of tax evasion”.
Explaining further, he said “ court has directed the district registrar to conduct probe and issue orders but which was not done so far. When I filed contempt of court petition, the district registrar in a hurry issued an order saying , Madurai-Ramnad diocesans Management Association only should be allowed to function. They now operate a bogus CSI Madurai Ramnad Diocesan CSI India Trust Association till date and there have been financial irregularities to the tune of several thousand crore of rupees. State and Central government have been deprived of their tax incomes running into several crores. In the audited balance sheet, income from dental college (started in 2006), Nursing, B.Ed colleges have not been brought under the Madurai Ramnad Diocesan Management Association and the income from them are not accounted for”
Devasahayam said “ I am ready to give details to BJP chief Annamalai requesting for a CBI probe through Central Government. I have been getting threats”.
According to K S Balakrishnan of Kumudam Reporter, a Tamil weekly, “when we contacted the officials said they have found two associations and asked for details from them. They sought two weeks’ time to produce documents. If allegations are proved during scrutiny, action will be taken. The dummy association would be dissolved and prevent such occurrences in new forms.