Badrinath priest rape: Victim runs hotels in area, devotees allege conspiracy

Woman, who has accused head priest of Badrinath temple Keshavan Namboothiri of molesting her at a Delhi hotel, is a native of Uttarakhand and owns a hotel in Badrinath.

It is believed that she got married only last year. After getting married, she went to Kedarnath-Badrinath shrine where she doled gifts to the staff and priests.

The paper also reported that she used to meet Keshavan Namboothiri at the temple very often for seeking his blessings.

Keshavan Namboothiri was arrested on charges of molestation and wrongful confinement of a pregnant woman on Tuesday. The woman alleged that the priest called her up on Monday and told her he was unwell and wanted to meet her. On reaching the hotel room, she found cigarette stubs and could smell alcohol.
The 36-year-old priest pulled her towards him and touched her inappropriately. She claimed she pushed him and ran out of the room but he ran behind to stop her. Her statement was recorded and an FIR registered under sections 342 (wrongful confinement) and 354 (assault to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of IPC. Namboodiri’s cousin who was present with him at the hotel has also been arrested for abetting the offence.

“As soon as I learnt about the incident, I was shocked. I can’t speak. I have known him personally. It could be a conspiracy against him,” another priest, Bhuvan Chandra Unniyal told Dehradun amarujala.
The Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee has suspended Namboothiri following the reports of his arrest. “He can be reinstated in case he can prove himself innocent before the police,” Chairman of the committee, Ganesh Godiyal, said in Dehradun.

Meanwhile, locals have expressed their shock over the incident and alleged conspiracy. They said an independent probe should be initiated against Keshavan Namboothiri so that the truth emerges.