Thiruvananthapuram: A few private photographs, allegedly involving a Kerala church priest and a woman, have viral on social media, leading to massive outrage in the state.
Some reports suggested that the photos were “leaked” online from a mobile phone shop in Idukki district after which the owner of the shop, Vellayamkudy, filed a police complaint seeking investigation into the matter.
The priest’s mobile phone was reportedly brought to the shop for repair earlier. But the shop owner denied the accusations of images being leaked from his shop.
Idukki Diocese was quick to take action against the accused priest, Fr James Mangalassery, from Catholic church in Vellayamkudi of Kattappana in Idukki district.
“Mangalassery was suspended from his role as a Vicar on March 24, 2020,” the Diocese said in a press release dated May 21.The church’s investigation is currently on, it said.
The woman in question is reportedly an employee with one of the institutions under the Parish.
The priest had left the place before the controversial visuals made headlines. It is learnt that he sought treatment at an eye hospital and later moved into an ashram in Malayattoor in Ernakulam District.
The woman is married and a mother of two, sources close to her said, adding that she may file a petition with the police. Meanwhile, Circle Inspector of Kattappana said they are yet to receive any complaint from the priest or the woman.
As the complaint lodged by the mobile phone shop owner amounts to defamation, police may launch an investigation after thorough perusal of the event. Police added that neither the priest nor the woman needs to file a complaint regarding the issue.
(With inputs from MS Aneesh Kumar)