A 37-year-old tribal woman was allegedly raped by a priest of a church at Kanapur village under Khaknar police station here, police said on Monday. The incident took place during the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday on the premises of the church in Kanapur, located around 37 km from the district headquarters.
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The priest, Hanop Alexander, has gone absconding, police said adding that the victim as well as the accused have houses on the premises of the same church.
“The tribal woman has accused the priest, Hanop Alexander, of rape. The priest has gone absconding,” Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Kamal Paul David said.
In her complaint, the victim said the accused forcibly took her to his room when she came out of her house at midnight. Following the incident, the victim raised an alarm, after which the accused fled away on a motorcycle as people started gathering at the spot, police said.
The victim registered a complaint at Khaknar police station on Sunday morning. Police said the accused, a resident of Jabalpur, has been living on the premises of the church along with his wife and two children since the past few years.
“However, the family of the priest has been away since the past one week and he was alone,” police said adding, the victim was lives with her family on the church campus.
The accused has been booked under IPC section 376 (rape) and the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. “We have booked the priest and a search has been launched to nab him. The case has been handed over to the AJK (Anusuchit Janjati Kalyan) police station,” he added.
Medical examination of the woman was conducted at a local hospital, David said. Further investigation is on.