Kerala

Emigration officials at the Thiruvananthapuram airport prevent CSI bishop from leaving for UK

Bishop Dharmaraj Rasalam

Bishop Dharmaraj Rasalam

:

Emigration officials at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport prevented Church of South India (CSI) Moderator and South Kerala diocesan bishop Dharmaraj Rasalam from travelling abroad early Tuesday.

Bishop Rasalam is currently the focus of a money laundering enquiry by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Emigration officials stopped the bishop en route to the U.K. to attend a religious convention of Protestant priests. They asked him to appear at the ED office in Kochi on Wednesday.

The ED probe is predicated on a college admission scam centred on the Dr Somervell Memorial CSI Medical College at Karakonam. The alleged fraud has its provenance in a complaint filed by 24 students and their parents. They claimed they had paid the college management fee to secure medical seats but were swindled.

An initial investigation by the Crime Branch found the college management guiltless. However, the Kerala High Court quashed the agency’s findings in early 2022 and ordered a reinvestigation.

On Monday, the ED conducted sweeping and concurrent raids on the various offices of the South Kerala diocese of the CSI, which owns the medical college.

J. Jayaraj, pastoral secretary of the Church, said fake complaints filed by persons with an ulterior motive to sully the CSI’s image had precipitated the inspections. He claimed that the ED found no incriminating evidence. The Crime Branch verified the allegations against the CSI medical college and found them false.

The CSI diocese was recently at the centre of another controversy after a section of the parishioners objected to the bishop’s decision to elevate the iconic Mateer Memorial Church to a cathedral.


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Printable version | Jul 27, 2022 11:10:11 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/emigration-officials-at-the-thiruvananthapuram-airport-prevent-csi-bishop-from-leaving-for-uk/article65684345.ece