The police are yet to arrest the Kanyakumari church man who sexually assaulted over 50 women; another incident in which a man who claimed to be an advocate, and church employees, raped a Class XI student several times in the guise of helping her monetarily has surfaced.
The family of a Class XI student from Ponmeni, Madurai, is in financial crisis. Coming to know this, Koodal Nagar Lawrence, 50, came forward last year claiming that he was working in the church and was a lawyer.
Taking advantage of his poverty, Lawrence has been offering some help by coming home occasionally, saying he is helping with prayer. Later, he got close to the student and took photos and videos. Showing it, he repeatedly threatened and sexually harassed her.
Reports say “taking advantage of her family’s financially weaker situation, he became close with the girl studying at a corporate school. He sexually assaulted her at her house multiple times in September 2022. The girl’s father is a construction site worker, and her two elder sisters are aged over 18 years. The advocate has been absconding. The police have launched a search operation to nab him.
“The incident came to light after the 16-year-old girl’s mother noticed her upset behaviour. The suspect Lawrence had introduced himself to the family as a samaritan supporting poor families in education and others. Believing him, the girl’s family has been in touch with him for over a year”.
Her parents complained on March 15 to All South Women Inspector Vimala. The police registered a case against Lawrence under the POCSO Act and threatened to kill him. The Madurai city police are on the lookout for Lawrence. Police said the case had been booked against advocate S Lawrence (50) of Raillar Nagar 4th Street in Koodal Nagar of Madurai under 5 (i) and 6 of the POCSO Act and 506 (i) IPC section”.
In another incident, in Singamparai village in Tirunelveli based, Sahayam Devin raj (40) works as a teacher in a private school, privately taking tuition to students at home after school hours. He exploited innocence and started misbehaving with them by touching them inappropriately, pinching their private parts other sexual skirmishes. He allegedly tried to sexually assault some of the girls. When one of the girls refused to go to tuition, her parents forced her for details; her teary eyes said everything she was undergoing at the sex maniac. She told them it was unbearable, and he was trying to rape her.
Following this, her parents approached the police with a complaint on March 17. Now he has been booked under POCSO and lodged in jail.
In the third incident, CBI arrested a 35 –year-old Thanjavur-based PhD scholar, Victor James Raja, for allegedly raping children and creating and circulating child sexual abuse material in electronic form. He was a research scholar at the National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Management. He was interrogated at Pudukottai two days from March 15, the past 24 hours. CBI found child sexual abuse images and videos from the Interpol database.
Its further analysis using digital forensic tools showed the location of the incident to the Thanjavur district. It conducted searches at the premises of Victor James Raja, which led to the seizure of incriminating electronic gadgets. Sources said he was allegedly sexually abusing a child for the past four years whose nude videos were uploaded on his Google account. He forced two minors (a male and a female) to make love and other minors, including a girl. James Raja took photographs and videos and forced them to bring more girls else he would publish this content on the internet. He fooled people into thinking that he was an agricultural scientist and social activist and has been derogatory and defamatory content of Prime Minister Modi on social media.
He is said to have sent defamatory comments about the Prime Minister from his father Jayapal’s mail to the Prime Minister’s office in Delhi. More than 10 CBI officers from Delhi on March 16 interrogated Victor for half an hour in this case. Then the youth was taken and interrogated for 36 hours at the NFTEM complex owned by the central Government.
Meanwhile, the Kanyakumari district cyber police have registered a case against a Catholic priest after a nursing college student levelled sexual harassment allegations against the priest.
The episode of this escapist church priest, Fr Benedict Anto, posted at the Our Lady of Assumption Malankara Church at Pilankalai, came to the public after obscene videos involving him with women went viral on social media for the past week. On one of the affected girls’ behalf, some people, including a law student, went to the priest’s residence to question him about his illegal activities. The priest complained that a group took away his mobile and laptops. At the time, social media is full of videos of his sexual intimacy pictures with women in comprising positions. Based on his complaint, The dutiful police immediately arrested one youth Austin Jio. When his mother complained of the illegal detention of his son, he was falsely implicated. An affected girl complained to the police seeking Bendict’s arrest. The police, which showed urgency in an alleged theft complaint, did not see and must arrest a person who sexually assaulted women, including students. A first-year nursing student has filed a complaint with the SP saying that Fr Benedict Anto was harassing her online.
She said, “Anto used to her inappropriately in the church where she was a regular goer. After some days, he collected my number and started pressuring me to make video calls and WhatsApp chat. I was forced to respond, and he started sexually harassing me online. After I come to know he has been doing this with many more women. Anto, a few more people including Paulraj and two unidentified men threatening me”.
The cyber police filed a case invoking two sections of the IT act, woman harassment and threatening. It is told police let the culprit abscond, buckling under pressure from top government and church administration.
He is absconding, and special teams have been formed to nab him. They asked the victims they share the details and booked the priest under five sections, including POCSO. Police found many pictures and videos of women in compromising and nude positions and are trying to identify them. He lied to many girls that he was interested in her, dedicatedly loved her, and was not in love with any women. He exploited the women who came to church and, more especially, the ones who came to give confession. Many kept quiet because of the social stigma, and their lives depended on the church from birth to death. Going against him would deprive them of all these religious-based customs.
According to media reports, “Benedict Anto alleged took naked pictures of women after befriending them with his sugar coated sexy conversations and kept them stored in his laptop. He also asked some girls to share their private parts which he mentioned in the message. He also conducted a marriage of one of victim girl (posed with him in nude stage) to another with whom he had a sexual relation “.
Recently, Organiser carried a story on Karibeeran Parameswaran, who has been accused of sexual abuse of inmates and facing POCSO charges; he got anticipatory bail with his wife, her brother, and two others. He is the promoter Christian missionary-funded home for orphans in Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu. In all these cases, police slowly let the accused go underground.
Only a few who do not have political or church support get caught to avoid public anger. Apex court and other higher judiciary, including the Central Government, were serious about rapes. After the Nirubaya incident, laws have been amended to give more powers.
Many feel the system of confession; nunnery should be abolished. Nuns became victims in most churches and silently lived with this torture. Even if they go to court, none get justice, and they will die mysteriously.
A couple of days ago, Tamil Nadu Revenue Department officials sealed two more rooms at the Anbu Jothi Ashram after evidence of 35,000 drugs given to Ashram inmates to convert them to Christianity was found there.
A few days ago, the proprietors of Anbu Jothi Ashramam, B Jubin and J Maria, were arrested by police on several charges, including rape, in a village in the Villupuram district. After receiving a complaint from Salim Khan, who had not heard from his father-in-law since August 2021, a team of officials raided the Anbu Jyothi Ashram, a home in a village in Villupuram. Salim’s father-in-law was admitted to the home in December 2021. Warden Muthumaari, a computer operator, and Gopinath, an attendant and driver Biju, have also been arrested.
After visiting the home with his officials, Dr RG Anand, a National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) member, said, “Three teams from Delhi have travelled to Villupuram to perform a field study on this issue. In addition to Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, this Ashramam has connections in five other states including Rajasthan, West Bengal, Tripura, Meghalaya, and Nagaland. “
He said, “Only 60 people are permitted to be maintained in this building by the Anbu Jothi Ashram. But more than 140 people are confined in this building. They have been artificially drugged. 35 thousand tablets given to mentally ill persons have been seized. After being drugged they are converted to Christianity. We have requested that authorities look into where they purchased these. The Mundiambakkam Medical College Principal has assured us that a report on the drug’s source will be provided within 15 days. “
NCPCR official said, “Seven child welfare centres are functioning in Villupuram district. Two of which were working for mentally challenged people. Anbu Jyoti Ashram is one of them. We have locked and sealed its two rooms. To ensure safety in other shelters, we have ordered the DSP, District Child Welfare Officers, to conduct an investigation in person and submit a report. We have also directed that the workers be investigated.
The CB-CID police are still investigating whether the 35,000 narcotic drugs came from Mundiambakkam Government Medical College Hospital, other hospitals, states, or countries and how they acquired them. Also, conversion work has been going on in the Ashram by doing Christian prayers at night. The mother of the child admitted to the hospital has stated this. By taking sick individuals into a dark room and promising that everything will get better soon, the Ashramam has been pursuing conversion. The CBCID police are investigating the 15 missing persons in the shelter.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), collating details of sexual escapades of church fathers, would launch a protest to highlight the biased and supportive hand of the state government to the accused instead of initiating appropriate action against them.