August 24, 2016
Four years after allegedly murdering an eighteen-year-old girl in Palakkad district of Kerala, the police are ready with chargesheet against 37-year-old Catholic priest of the Coimbatore diocese, Arokiyaraj, and five other clergymen, including a Bishop.
18-year-old B. Com student, Fathima Sophia, was found dead at the priest’s quarters in July 2013. The case was first decided as suicide, but two years later, it was reopened as murder investigation, after the victim’s mother sent a petition to the then Kerala Chief Minister, Oomen Chandy.
The investigators say that Arokiyaraj had also been sexually molesting the victim for more than two years, when she was a minor. The incident gained attention when the mother of the victim narrated the events on a television talk show.
The Bishop and four other clergymen were arrested for giving false information.
The church had dismissed Arokiyaraj, and ex-communicated the victim’s mother for running a smear campaign against the Bishop on the media.