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Two Women Accuse Goa Priest of Trying to Kiss Them, Temple Trust Says 'No Dependable Evidence Found'

According to one of the women, the priest, on the pretext of donation, asked her to come near the lockers and put his arm around her shoulder. Then, he hugged her and kissed her on the cheek.

Vinaya Deshpande | CNN-News18

Updated:July 19, 2018, 3:11 PM IST
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Two Women Accuse Goa Priest of Trying to Kiss Them, Temple Trust Says 'No Dependable Evidence Found'
Representative image: Reuters
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Mumbai: A priest of Goa’s Shree Mangueshi Temple has been accused of molesting two women devotees within the premises in two separate incidents.

In order to bring the matter to the notice of the temple management, the victims sent letters alleging that the priest had 'hugged' and 'kissed' them in the inner sanctum of the temple, when they visited the temple along with their parents.

However, despite referring to the CCTV footage, the temple trust refuted the allegations, saying that they "couldn't find dependable evidence to establish prima facie case against the priest.

The temple directed the complainants to report to the 'appropriate authority’. "Please approach the appropriate authority to redress your grievance," the temple trust wrote in their reply.

According to one of the women, the priest, on the pretext of donation, asked her to come near the lockers and put his arm around her shoulder. Then, he hugged her and kissed her on the cheek.

The first incident happened on June 14 and the second one took place on June 22.

One of the women is an Indian studying in US. She had visited the temple with her parents last month when the incident had happened. She has also sought CCTV evidence of the act.

In a letter written to one of the complainants, the temple committee stated that considering the serious allegations levelled by the women on the priest, the managing committee had promptly held its emergency meeting and discussed the issue in depth. Thereafter, it was decided to initiate a preliminary enquiry.

The letter further said that 'a fair opportunity' to both the parties will be given to present their cases.
Although, nowhere does the letter mention about the CCTV footage.

Repeated calls to the temple trust office went unanswered but sources said the priest in question has not been suspended yet.
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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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