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Kollam police have booked a priest on charges of subjecting three minor boys to unnatural sex. The boys were seminarians who were staying with the accused, Fr Thomas Parackal, who is now absconding.
Parackal, 30, belonged to a France-based Catholic congregation but was working as a parish priest under Punalur diocese, the police said. A few seminarians, who were Class 12 students, were staying with the priest at a rented house at Kottathala in Kollam district. They had joined the congregation Society of St Eugene De Mazendo, but were pursuing higher secondary education in Kollam.
“The case was registered against the priest after a boy approached volunteers of Childline, a government-backed arm for children in distress. The priest allegedly abused the three boys last July when they were staying with him. Later, all three left the seminary. One of them developed behavioural changes and revealed the trauma to family members,’’ said a police officer.
The accused was booked under Section 377 IPC and Sections of POCSO Act. Punalur diocese spokesman Fr Johnson said the accused was hired to run a parish due to shortage of priests in the diocese. After the case was reported, the diocese has divested him of all duties.