We Were Outraging Over a “Temple Kiss” on Netflix, Now a Priest Has Raped a Minor Girl. Where’s The Anger?

Social Commentary

We Were Outraging Over a “Temple Kiss” on Netflix, Now a Priest Has Raped a Minor Girl. Where’s The Anger?

Illustration: Arati Gujar

They call themselves “men of god” but they don’t even deserve a place in hell. In a shocking incident reported from Bangalore, a 68-year-old priest has been arrested for raping a 10-year-old girl at his daughter’s home inside the temple premises.

He reportedly saw the girl playing in the vicinity and then lured her with snacks. He took her to his daughter’s home and raped her, according to the police.

The accused has been identified as Venkataramanappa and he is a priest at a temple in Bagepalli, a town in Karnataka’s Chikballapur district. He was looking after the temple in Devanahalli, 40 kilometres from Bangalore city, in the absence of his son-in-law, also a priest.

The daughter and her husband had to attend a function and were not in town and Venkataramanappa was stepping in for his son-in-law at the temple. After he performed the evening pooja, the girl caught his attention and told her he’d offer her some snacks.

The minor’s family started looking for her when she did not return home in the evening. A flower vendor near the temple told the mother that she had seen the girl go inside the priest’s room, reported Bangalore Mirror.

When the family along with the neighbours went to the priest’s house, they saw the girl coming out; she was crying. The 10-year-old then narrated her ordeal to her family, who immediately informed the police.

“Based on CCTV camera footage, medical report and the flower vendor’s statement, Venkatramanappa was arrested on Wednesday,” CK Baba, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northeast), told The Indian Express. The priest has been booked under various Sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and also under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code.

The story has triggered outrage on social media and many compared the case to the gang-rape and murder of another girl inside a temple in Kashmir’s Kathua.

Rapes continue unabated in India and our girls are safe nowhere – not inside homes or hospitals, trains or temples.