Several self-styled godmen in India being exposed of rape and committing sexual atrocities by using their dominant position in a morally corrupt religious order has led to a case from Patna city where a Pastor had been accused of raping women on the pretext of expelling evil spirits.
The incident came to light recently when one women came forward and lodged a FIR against the accused Pastor, charging him of having raped her at his residence under the pretence of performing special prayers to cure her of mental disease. After the police arrested the pastor on the basis of the FIR lodged, another woman has also come forward and recorded her statement with the police levelling sexual assault charges against the pastor.
Based on the complaints lodged by the two women before a Mahila (Female) Police station on September 23, Chandrama Raj, the pastor of the Indian Mission Church at Alamganj from Gurhatta, was arrested. Though the complaint was lodged on September 23, the FIR was registered only on October 8 that too after the complainants approached an NGO.
Patna SSP Manu Maharaj told the The Indian Express:
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Statements of both women were recorded in the presence of a judicial magistrate. But the FIR was lodged by one of them. We have conducted a preliminary inquiry and arrested the priest Chandrama Raj. He has been sent to judicial custody.
As per reports, the pastor would make claims of successfully exorcising evil spirits and ghosts, for which he conducted “special prayers” at his own home where he would then rape the victims.
Though the church has issued no statement, about eight of his disciples did visit the Mahila Police Station to protest against the arrest. According to the woman police-in-charge, Vibha Kumari:
We followed the due process before the arrest. We also interrogated the pastor at the police station before he was sent to judicial custody. We will question several people as well.
Interestingly, the crime against women incident has largely been ignored by the mainstream media and has only been reported by The Indian Express and Jagran. Pakistan based Geo News has also published the news report.
Do you think the media has a partisan approach in reporting sexual crimes against women as the Pastor’s conduct and arrest has not received enough news coverage? Do let us know about your views in the comments section below.