A case has been registered against a 42-year old Pastor for sexually exploiting 17 women in the last four years at Payakaraopeta in the Visakhapatnam District of Andhra Pradesh.
According to reports, the Christian priest was also involved in forcing women and boys into slave labour, fraud and cheating. The incident surfaced when one of those women escaped from the church and approached the Police officials. One of the victims lodged a complaint against the Pastor on 3rd February.
The Pastor, identified as Ambati Anil Kumar alias Prema Das, a native of Krishnalanka in Vijayawada, Krishna District, was earlier working as a TTE in the railways.
In 2017, he resigned from his job, left his family and settled in Payakaraopeta to set up a Christian mission. In 2015, he established a trust named ‘Prema Swaroopi Ministries’, became Pastor A Anil Kumar and set up a church in a two-storied building. He then lured around 17 women from various places in the name of giving Christian religious discourse and lodged them in the ministry premises at Payakaraopeta.
In her complaint, the victim said that the Pastor brought her and other women to the ministry. The Pastor had sexually exploited them for the past four years. The Pastor then threatened them by saying that their family would face dire consequences if they tried to leave the premises.
Reportedly, in addition to women, seven boys have been kept there forcibly and made to work as enslaved people. The victim said the boys were also tortured, she informed the Police.
Based on the statements of the victim, the Payakaraopeta Police questioned the other women, but they did not speak up due to fear of the Pastor. Some women appeared to be trance-like and unable to provide answers.
Upon the investigation, the Police also learnt that Pastor A Anil Kumar had made huge money from many people in the name of God. The rape-accused Pastor also had a YouTube channel and conducted online Christian prayers for the suffering, unemployed and patients. The victims fell for his persuasive talk and duped lakhs of Rupees on his promise of getting jobs and remedies for ills.
D Manikanta, Additional SP, Narsipatnam, inspected the ministry premises and said that the Police were carrying out a detailed investigation. Payakaraopeta Police have registered cases under relevant sections, and the victims were sent to Anakapalle hospital for medical tests.
Four persons have been arrested in connection with this incident. Pastor A Anil Kumar is reportedly also one of those arrested. The accused Pastor lived with Rajeswari, aka Lilly from East Godavari District, who was also a partner in his crimes. The Police are tracing for Rajeswari too.
The Police have now sealed the ministries’ building and sent home eight of the 30 inmates – men and women.