Kerala: Vicar arrested on charge of impregnating minor girl

Kannur: A 48-year-old vicar of a church was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly sexually exploiting and impregnating a minor girl at Kottiyoor in the district, police said.

Fr Robin Mathew of St Sebastian’s Church in Kottiyoor was taken into custody on Monday night and arrested this morning under IPC Section 376 (punishment for rape) and the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, they said.

The incident came to light after the 16-year old girl, a resident of Neendunokki near Kottiyoor, delivered a baby boy at a private hospital in Koothuparamba on February 7.

Based on information from NGO “Childline”, police held an inquiry with the girl and her parents.

Initially, the girl’s father told police that he was responsible for her pregnancy.

The police, who weren’t convinced, further questioned him after which he revealed that it was the vicar who had committed the crime.

Mathew, who went missing, was picked up from Chalakkudy in Thrissur district on Monday and brought here.

Police also found the baby had been left in an orphanage at Vythiri in Wayanad District and shifted it to a government-run orphanage here on Monday.