The Jharkhand High Court in India granted bail to Jesuit priest Alphonse Aind on Tuesday, March 8. He was arrested more than three years ago over charges of abduction and gang rape.
“I am happy to inform you that Alphonse Aind, accused in the Kochang case, has been granted bail by the Jharkhand High Court,” read a message from Auxiliary Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas of Ranchi.
The prelate expressed his gratitude to Advocate Anil Kumar and all those involved in the legal battle.
“We are also grateful to all who supported Father Alphonse during these difficult days with prayers,” said the prelate.
Father Aind and five others were sentenced to life imprisonment for their alleged involvement in the gang rape of five women in the eastern Indian state in 2018.
The priest, who is now in his early 50s, was parish priest of Sacred Heart Church and in-charge of the Stockmann Memorial Middle School at Burudih in Kochang, during the time of the crime.
The rape survivors were part of an 11-member tribal team from “Asha Kiran” (ray of hope), a rehabilitation center managed by Ursuline Sisters.
Church officials maintain that the charges against the Jesuit priest were fabricated amid a hostile atmosphere against Christians.
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