FIR Exposes Christian Mafia Centre

published on May 2, 2007

Unholy liaisons at Divine

KOCHI: It seems divinity is beating a hasty retreat at the Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor.

For, tumbling out of its cupboards are allegations of sexual harassment, missing persons, mysterious deaths, financial irregularities and illegally running a hospital!

The Special Investigation team headed by Vinson M Paul, Inspector-General of Police, after preliminary inquiry into the allegations against the centre, on Monday registered a criminal case at Koratty police station against 10 persons, including Fr George Panackal, director of the centre, and also filed an FIR before the Judicial First Class Magistrate, Chalakkudy.

While Fr George Panackal is implicated as the first accused, the other accused are procurator Fr Mathew Thadathil, homoeo doctor Thankamma, Sr Teresa and six employees.

The case is registered under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 342 (wrongful confinement) 324 voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 328 (causing hurt by poison etc with intent to commit an offence, 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code.

The other offences alleged include the conducting of a psychiatric institution without licence, administration of psychiatric drugs on several persons (15 persons are still at the centre).

The FIR also said the institution collected money by conducting religious functions and mentally hurt those who are opposed to the functioning of the institution.

During 1996-2006, as many as 974 premature deaths occurred at the centre, and bodies were cremated without providing information to the police.

The documents were allegedly forged to make it appear that the deaths were natural.

Several persons are locked in cells. Persons showing violent signs are injected with some unknown drugs.

Treatment is imparted by untrained persons. There are no medical practitioners at the centre.

The investigation had been ordered by the High Court on the basis of the allegations contained in an anonymous letter.

It was alleged that Fr Mathew Thadathil had made an inmate pregnant and she delivered a child. Celin Lopez of Alappuzha allegedly went missing from the centre.

IAS and IPS officials were allegedly extending illegal assistance to the centre which allegedly was receiving foreign funds.


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