A priest of a church allegedly raped a 37-year-old tribal woman at Kanapur village, the police said on Monday.
The incident took place during the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday on the premises of the church in Kanapur, located around 37km from the district headquarters.
The priest, Hanop Alexander, has gone absconding, the police said adding that the woman as well as the accused had houses on the premises of the same church.
“The tribal woman has accused the priest Hanop Alexander of rape. The priest has gone absconding,” deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Kamal Paul David said.
In her complaint, the woman said the accused forcibly took her to his room when she came out of her house at midnight. Following the incident, the woman raised an alarm, after which the accused fled on a motorcycle as people started gathering at the spot, the police said.
The woman registered a complaint at Khaknar police station on Sunday morning.
The accused, a resident of Jabalpur, has been living on the premises of the church along with his wife and two children since the past few years.
“However, the family of the priest has been away since the past one week and he was alone,” the police said.
The accused has been booked under IPC section 376 (rape) and the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
“We have booked the priest and a search has been launched to nab him. The case has been handed over to the AJK (Anusuchit Janjati Kalyan) police station,” he added.
Medical examination of the woman was conducted at a local hospital, David said adding that further investigation is on.