Kannur: Police have arrested Fr Robin Vadakkancheril alias Mathew (48), the parish vicar of St Sebastian Church at Neendunoki in the district, on charges of raping a minor girl past year.
Father Robin was the vicar of the St Sebastian's Church in Kannur district to which the girl's family was attached.
The police said a case was registered under IPC Section 376 and also under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act against the vicar. He confessed to the crime on questioning, the police said.
According to police, the girl, studying in eleventh standard in a school at Kottiyoor, is a resident of Neendunooki in Kottiyoor.
The house of the girl is near the church and the priest might have acquainted with the girl, the police added. "He was trying to flee to Canada", the officer said, insisting more details could not be revealed as of now. The girl delivered at a private hospital in Thokkilangadi hear.
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"We are also checking if the church-run Christuraj hospital near Thalassery where the minor delivered a baby almost a month ago had duly informed the authority of the childbirth".
The incident came to light after the childline service informed the police about it.
In the initial stages, the victim had given a statement that her own father had committed the crime.
The accused, a bishop, allegedly shifted them to an orphanage in north Kerala's Wayanad to hush up the incident.