62-year-old priest arrested in Karnataka for raping 10-year-old girl inside temple; netizens demand strict punishment for Venkataramanappa


Police in Karnataka have arrested a 62-year-old Hindu priest from the outskirts of Bengaluru for allegedly raping a 10-year-old girl inside a temple. Venkataramanappa has been sent to judicial custody after doctors confirmed that the girl had been raped by the Hindu priest.

(Reuters File Photo)

According to media reports, Venkataramanappa was visiting one his daughters in Devanahalli. His son-in-law, who is the priest of the Chowdeshwari temple, had to leave the town for some work and requested Venkataramanappa to carry out the religious duties of the temple.

According to Deccan Herald, CK Baba, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northeast), said that around 4.30 pm on Tuesday, Venkataramanappa saw the girl playing near his house on 24 November around 4.30 PM. The girl’s father, according to the report, runs a scrap shop nearby. Venkataramanappa allegedly called her inside his daughter’s house, which is inside the temple’s vicinity, on the pretext of giving her sweets.

The girls’ father frantically looked for his daughter when she didn’t return home in the evening. A local woman, who sells flowers inside the temple, said that she had seen the girl enter the priest’s house. The family visited the priest’s house and reportedly saw the girl coming out crying.

According to the police, a crowd gathered inside the temple. The girl was immediately taken to a government hospital for medical tests. The priest has been booked for rape under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act on the basis of the CCTV footage and the statement made by the woman selling flowers.

Meanwhile, netizens have trended hashtag #RapistPoojary demanding stringent action against Venkataramanappa.