Indian Catholic leaders are questioning the investigation of a Salesian priest accused of molesting a minor girl in Pune, reports Ucanews.
Father Igidius Falcao, a vice principal at Don Bosco high school in Pune, Maharashtra state, was arrested January 21 after a 14-year-old Catholic student complained he had attempted to molest her in his office.
Father Falcao, 61, was transfered from police custody to magisterial custody on Monday, where he will stay until February 11, his lawyer said.
He applied for bail yesterday, but police are seeking an extension of custody while they investigate the priest’s past positions in Mumbai, according to police inspector Reshma Mulani.
“We feel that there is certainly political pressure to frame the priest,” said Peter D’Cruz, vice president of the Minority Affairs Department of the Congress Party in Pune district.
“We have learnt that a senior police officer, under political pressure, asked the local police investigating the case to add attempted rape, although the original complaint was only of molestation,” he said.
He also said Hindu youth activists stormed the school when the priest was arrested, demanding his firing. A scuffle broke out with students at the school, and the police booked the Hindus for trespassing while the Christians were booked for rioting, Paul said.
FULL STORY Indian Catholics cry foul over priest allegation (Ucanews)