A 62-year-old priest has been arrested for raping a 10-year-old girl inside his daughter's house located within a temple in Devanahalli on the northern outskirts of Bengaluru, a senior police officer said.
Venkataramanappa was visiting his daughter who lives with her husband in a house located within the premises of Chowdeshwari temple.
Venkataramanappa lives with his wife in Chikkaballapura. His two daughters are married to temple priests. One of them lives in Devanahalli and another in Yelahanka.
His son-in-law, the priest at the Chowdeshwari temple, had gone out of town, and Venkataramanappa was officiating him for conducting daily rituals.
C K Baba, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northeast), said that around 4.30 pm on Tuesday, Venkataramanappa saw the girl playing near his house. The girl's family lives nearby, and her father runs a scrap shop. Venkataramanappa allegedly called her on the pretext of giving sweets, took her into the house and raped her, the DCP said.
The girl's family grew anxious after she didn't return home, and started looking for her. A woman who sells flowers outside the temple told them that she had seen the girl going into the priest's house. As the family walked to the house, they saw the girl coming out crying. She narrated the incident, and a crowd gathered soon after. Police were called, and the girl and her parents were taken to the local government hospital for medical tests, Baba explained.
Based on CCTV footage and the flower vendor's statement, police picked up Venkataramanappa for questioning. He was booked for rape under the IPC and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act, and arrested. Police claim he has confessed.
On Wednesday, a court remanded him in judicial custody.