A first information report has been registered at the women police station here against Don Bosco Youth Centre (DBYC) director Fr Cyriac Pulinthanathumalayil for allegedly molesting a 22-year-old girl who was undergoing a vocational course at the Centre.
The incident reportedly occurred on June 12 and the FIR was filed by the victim on June 15.
The incident, however, came to light on Wednesday after a social media user posted a copy of the FIR on Facebook seeking justice for the victim.
The victim said she was undergoing a vocational course in English and personality development in DBYC and was staying at the centre since March 26.
In her FIR, the victim wrote, “On 12 June at around 8 pm, Father Cyriac called me to a small veranda near the dining hall and, in the name of teaching, overpowered me and touched my private parts. Since my mobile phone was taken over by them and the gate of our campus was closed, I couldn’t inform my parents.”
“Again, on 13 June at around 10 am, when I was studying in the Tadar Taniang Hall, Father Cyriac came and picked up the particular book namely ‘Called to climb higher’ and told me that this book is written by one of the Catholic Father and you should study it. Thereafter, he has taken me to chapter 2 of that book that is basically about partner for life and mental and physical relationship between male and female. Further, he specifically took me to page-37 of that book wherein heading ‘sexual intercourse on the sex act’ is discussed and by making so he tried to sexually assault me by the mode of arousing me through the book. I reacted against him by sensing his ill motive,” the FIR read.
“On 14 June, when I somehow gathered the courage to inform the matter to my parents, Father Cyriac snatched my mobile phone. In the evening my mother came to visit me, however, I was expecting my father so that I can tell misdeeds of Father Cyriac as I am more close to my father. Therefore, at around 6.15 pm, I took a small mobile from our cook through his son and called my father and informed him about the incident.”
“Thereafter, as my father didn’t arrive at the time I was expecting him, I ran out of the campus and informed the police at beat Post in Ganga area and that police came to our campus with me. But it was found that Father Cyriac, locked himself from inside and he was only made to come out on the arrival of Magistrate,” the victim’s said in the FIR.
Speaking to North East Now, a senior Catholic priest from Itanagar, under the condition of anonymity said, “Upon receiving a complaint from the victim a preliminary inquiry was carried out by the Arunachal Pradesh Catholic Association (APCA) the DBYC.”
“We have been following the case since the incident came into light almost a month ago. Also, the APCA while taking cognizance of the matter carried out a preliminary inquiry at their level and spoke to all the students and staff of DBYC. Though we are yet to get the full details of the investigation, we were, however, told that none of the students or staff is aware of the incident as alleged by the victim,” the priest said.
“We are not trying to defend Fr Cyriac as the law will take its own course of action; however, the victim has repeatedly changed her statement since day one. First, she said the incident took place when she was playing cards and she can be heard saying the same in the voice clip which has gone viral. Then, in her FIR, she mentioned that the incident occurred while she was studying. She again went back to her initial statement in one of her social media posts today,” the priest said.
The priest said that “the victim had been experiencing depression since long which she has also mentioned in the audio clip and she also had a history of hallucinating.”
“In the 16-minute-long voice clip posted in social media, the girl says she was under depression and she was under treatment for it for a long time and she is a survivor etc. The boy on the other side asks her about her medicines and she says I don’t take medicines now, I am a survivor and my psychiatrist from Apollo has given in writing that I am no longer a sufferer of depression,” the priest said.
In regards to the mobile phone being snatched by Fr Cyriac, the senior priest said it was confiscated as she was using the same continuous during her study time.
The priest, however, acknowledged that Fr Cyriac was arrested by the police on June 14 after a verbal complaint from the victim and was later released on bail on June 16.
Itanagar women police station officer-in-charge inspector P Taku said a case under section 354 of the IPC has been registered against Fr Cyriac and the matter is under investigation.