Bangladeshi priest Father Prodip Gregory is accused of raping an indigenous girl. (Photo: Facebook)
A court in northern Bangladesh has denied bail for a Catholic priest accused of raping a minor indigenous girl.
Judge Mir Shafiqul Alam of Rajshahi District Court refused to accept the bail petition submitted by a lawyer for Father Prodip Gregory, a suspended priest of Rajshahi Diocese, on Nov. 5.
It was the second bail petition rejected for the priest since his arrest and jailing on Sept. 29.
Father Gregory, parish priest of St. John Marie Vianney Church in Tanore, is accused of confining and raping a 14-year-old girl from Sept. 26-28.
“The lawyer filed the bail petition, which was opposed by the family of the plaintiff. The judge dismissed the petition,” Rakibul Islam, officer in-charge of Tanore police station in Rajshahi, told UCA News.
Swapan Hasdak, elder brother of the alleged victim who filed the case against the priest, demanded justice for the crime.
“We are members of the Church and we are in no way against the Church, but we are against the priest who committed this heinous crime. We want justice,” Hasdak told UCA News.
Allegations of ostracizing family
Social media has been buzzing with claims that church authorities have attempted to settle the case outside court and tried to ostracize the girl’s family.
Hasdak, the plaintiff, has been employed as a part-time teacher at church-run St. Rita’s High School in Pabna district since 2019.
The school authority has asked him to find employment elsewhere from next January.
“I think this action against me is due to my case filing against the priest. I have been employed as they found me worthy, but now they say they are not happy about my performance. It is a dirty thing that my family matter has been made an issue against me at my workplace,” Hasdak said.
Associates of Mary Queen of Apostles (SMRA) nun Sister Mary Monique, the headmistress of the school, denied any foul play in the issue.
“We don’t mix up family matters with the workplace in our renowned school. As a teacher, his performance has not been good and he lacks the qualities of a good teacher. So, the managing committee decided not to continue with his employment,” Sister Monique told UCA News.