Goa temple priest accused of molestation surrenders

Goa temple priest accused of molestation surrenders
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Panaji: A former temple priest, who has been booked for molesting two young women in the temple premises, surrendered before a local magistrate on Tuesday after remaining traceless for nearly one month.

The 51-year-old accused, Dhananjay Bhave, now a former priest at the popular Mangueshi temple located in South Goa, was formally arrested by officials from the Ponda Police Station soon after his surrender.

“The accused has been remanded for two days in police custody,” an official investigating the case said requesting anonymity.

On July 19, Bhave, who was then serving as a temple priest, was booked under Section 354 (outraging modesty) of the IPC after a young woman accused him of hugging and kissing her.

Two days later, another victim filed an FIR accusing the temple priest of also trying to kiss her near the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.

The police had been unable to contact Bhave, even as the priest suspended by the temple authorities had filed an anticipatory bail application, which was eventually rejected by the Bombay High Court bench in Panaji.