Goa priest gets bail

first_imgMangueshi temple priest Dhanajay Bhave, who was remanded in police custody for two days on Tuesday was on Thursday released on conditional bail. The priest has been accused of molesting two girls inside the Mangueshi temple in South Goa in two separate incidents in June this year. The IO of Ponda police station, Harish Madkaikar, told The Hindu on Thursday evening that the court had released Mr. Bhave on a bond of ₹30,000 and a personal surety.He has been given a conditional bail which include presenting himself for police investigation, reporting police station, not to leave the State without the knowledge of the court, etc.“ Our probe is on and once investigation is completed, we will file the charge sheet”, Police Inspector Madkaikar said.Mr. Bhave was absconding for over a month, ever since the first molestation case was filed on July 19 and even before his anticipatory bail plea could be heard. Additional Sessions and District Court in Ponda had rejected both of his anticipatory bail applications. The Bombay High Court at Goa too rejected his bail pleas on August 16, following which the police issued a lookout notice. He surrendered in the JMFC Court in Ponda on Tuesday and was remanded in police custody for two days.Mr. Bhave was booked in two separate cases under Section 354 (outraging the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code.The victims, a Goan-origin student studying medicine in the U.S. and a Mumbai-based Goan girl, had lodged separate police complaints accusing the priest of molesting them by hugging and kissing them near the sanctum sanctorum of the Mangueshi temple, while they were on a temple visit and while their parents were praying.Before approaching the police, the complainants had approached the Manguesh Devasthan Committee, which had said that it could not find any dependable evidence to establish a prima facie case against Bhave and had advised the victims and their parents to approach “appropriate authority” with their complaints.The priest stands suspended from temple’s services following FIRs registered against him by police.last_img