Kochi: New twist in church record forgery case

Kochi: The ‘forged’ document case linked with the Syro-Malabar Church took a new turn with the investigation team taking into custody a young engineering graduate from IIT identified as Aditya Valavi for questioning.

He was being held in the Aluva DySP’s office since Thursday. The police remained tight-lipped about the incident even as a group of people led by Fr. Mathew Edasserry, vicar of Syrian Catholic parish at Konthuruthy, Thevara, held a protest before the office of the DySP at Aluva demanding the release of Aditya. The Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese in a statement by Dr Paul Kare-dan, spokesperson of archdiocese, denied priests had not gone on an agitation.

The Archdiocesan Move-ment for Transparency (AMT), in a statement on Saturday claimed that Aditya had told the police that he had sent the e-mails containing the controversial documents to Fr Thelakkat. He, however, said that he had accessed the documents from the server of the company with global business transactions and that the firm may have removed the documents from its server after the matter came to light.

The engineer was allegedly taken into custody on Thursday after the police verified the statements made by Fr Thelakkat that he had received the documents from Aditya.

The investigation team is now in the process of ascertaining whether the business firm had wiped out the documents from its server or whether Aditya had forged the documents.

The parishioners, demanding the release of Aditya from Friday night onwards, continued the protest on Saturday also. Zachariah Valavi, farther of Aditya, has written a letter to the police requesting the release of his son. In the letter he stated that he was a heart patient and that his son was in “unjust” custody at the behest of vested interests.

The forged document case is connected with the allegation that Fr Paul Thelakkat, editor of Light of Truth, journal of Syro-Malabar Church, and Bishop Jacob Manathodath, archdiocesan apostolic administrator, were involved in forging the bank transaction documents against Cardinal George Alenchery, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church. According to the police, the documents purportedly linking the cardinal with the accounts of a private bank were forged as he was found not operating any account in the bank named in the documents.

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