Goa Priest Charged For Molestation After Allegations From Two Women

Two young women, including a student of medicine studying in the US, have accused a temple priest of the popular Mangeshi temple of molestation. Both complaints were submitted to the temple committee in June.

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Goa Priest Charged For Molestation After Allegations From Two Women

The officer said the priest accused of the alleged molestation will be summoned. (Representational)


Panaji: 

Goa Police has started a probe into allegations of molestation raised against a priest attached to the popular Mangueshi temple in south Goa, after a victim filed an FIR, an officer said on Friday.

The First Information Report was filed at Ponda police station late on Thursday, he said.

"We are investigating the case. An FIR has been filed by the victim under section 354 (outraging modesty) of Indian Penal Code (IPC)," Superintendent of Police (South Goa) Arvind Gawas told reporters on Friday. 

The priest, Dhananjay Bhave, accused of the alleged molestation, will be summoned formally, the officer said.

Two young women, including a student of medicine studying in the US, have accused a temple priest of the popular Mangeshi temple of molestation. Both complaints were submitted to the temple committee in June.

"He (priest) came to the locker area (outside the sanctum) and on the pretext of asking me to take ''pradakshina'', he beckoned me to come near and put his arm around my shoulders. He then proceeded to tightly hug me and attempted to kiss me," a victim has said in her complaint to the police.

The Shree Manguesh Devasthan Committee responded to the compalints earlier in July. 

In its response to the victims'' complaint, the Committee''s Secretary Anil Kenkre had said that it "could not lay hand on any dependable evidence to establish a prima facie case...," urging the complainant to take up her grievance with an "appropriate authority".

On Thursday, Goa Arts and Culture Minister Govind Gaude and a BJP MLA had demanded a police probe into the allegations levelled against the priest.

The Mangueshi temple, home to Lord Manguesh who is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva, is one of the most visited temples in the state by tourists and locals alike. 

Several influential Gaud Saraswat Brahmin clans are followers of the deity.

It is also one of the sites recommended by official Goa Tourism brochures and sees hundreds of thousands of tourists in attendance every year.

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