The priest of Shree Manguesh Devasthan, Mangueshi, Dhananjay Bhave, has been booked for allegedly molesting a Goan-origin girl studying in the United States. An FIR was filed against the priest under IPC Section 355 (outrage modesty).
According to sources, summons have been issued to Bhave, who is missing. A team of policemen tried to meet Bhave at his residence, but he was not available. Even his advocate is yet to come to the police station.
The FIR was filed based on an email complaint sent by the girl’s mother. Two girls, both of Goan origin, had written to the devasthan authorities and sought necessary action against the priest. They had accused him of molesting them on the temple premises on two different occasions, on June 14 and 22.
One of the girls stated in her complaint that the June 22 incident took place when she accompanied her parents to the temple for performing ‘abhishek’. She said, ‘The accused priest came to the locker area (outside the gabhara and near the well) and on the pretext of asking me to take ‘pradakshina’, he beckoned me to come near the lockers and put his arm around my shoulder, and then proceeded to tightly hug me and then attempted to kiss me.
I was in complete shock… and as I turned my head and body to distance myself from him, he still kissed me on the cheek
The devasthan secretary had said the committee could not lay its hand on any ‘dependable evidence to establish a prima facie case’. He said an emergency meeting was held to discuss the issue.
The nature of allegations are such that it restricts the scope of further enquiry by the managing committee. The committee, therefore, comes to the conclusion to request you to approach the appropriate authority to redress your grievances.’ the secretary said, adding, ‘The devasthan management will immediately take action as deemed fit on the finding of the authority when made available to us.
Both the complaints and the temple authorities’ reply are being circulated in social media.>