Principal of Manipur’s Catholic School Removed After Complaints of Sexual Misconduct
  • Punishment Will Be Decided From Rome 
  • New Principal to Be Announced Shortly

‘The sexual relationship between Father and Barbie cannot be termed as one between two consenting adults as Soni Thomas has defied the canon laws of the Catholic Church that require clerics as Priest or Father’ - KKL

By Sanjoo Thangjam, Special Correspondent, IOP
Imphal, Sep 05, 2019: The Principal of Catholic School, Canchipur, Imphal, Father Soni Thomas has been removed from the post of Principal of the said school, following alleged misdemeanour with a lady teacher of the same school. Archbishop Dominic Lumon has reportedly informed the Kangleipak Kanba Lup (KKL) about his decision.

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Lunchinpurel, Yambem Laba had a telephonic conversation with Most Reverend Archbishop Dominic Lumon.

The Bishop on phone confirmed that Father Soni Thomas has been removed from the Principal ship of the School and as regards to the punishment to be meted out to him will be decided by the higher authorities in Delhi and Rome.

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In a statement, KKL claimed that prior to the information from the Archbishop on the removal of the said Principal a delegation of 60 teachers from the school called on Yambem Laba, the Luchingpurel (advisor) of the Kangleipak Kanba Lup at the office of KKL at Jupiter Yambem Centre on 4th of September, 2019.

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They were seeking Kangleipak Kanba Lup's assistance in bringing about an end to the impasse that had gripped the School ever since the KKL had made public the sexual escapades of Father Soni Thomas Principal of the Catholic School Canchipur with a lady staff member.

The Teachers were on the verge of taking a mass casual leave over the misdemeanour of the Principal and to express their dissatisfaction over the continued silence apropos matter by the Catholic Church on the various issues raised by Kangleipak Kanba Lup.

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Apart from removing the Principal, further penalty will be imposed as decided by the higher authorities at Delhi and Rome, claimed KKL.

He also added that a new Principal will be sent to the School very soon. 
Lunchinpurel Yambem Laba of Kangleipak Kanba Lup said,

"Well, let us hope that the Catholic School Canchipur will start a new chapter afresh and keep the recent happenings in the distant past. I hope that all concerned will take note of this Post."

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According to local media reports, “Kangleipak Kanba Lup, Manipur had alleged principal of Catholic School Canchipur, Father Soni Thomas, of involving in a physical relationship with a Meitei woman who is an employee of the school, and stealing a sum of Rs.20 lakh from the school accounts.

On Aug 18, accusing Catholic School, Canchipur principal Father Sony Thomas of having a sexual relations with the women staff of the school and misusing admission fees for personal gains; Kangleipak Kanba Lup (KKL), Manipur had demanded immediate resignation of the principal and asked him not to leave Imphal until the matter is resolved.

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The organisation had alleged that the money is stolen so that it can be paid to the most reverend father DD Archbishop of Imphal, Dominic Lumon as bribe money by Soni Thomas.  There are further allegations that the admission to the said school is “sold” at prices ranging from Rs. 25,000 to 70,000.

In a press conference, Secretary-General of Lup, Ngamkhei Lakpa Luwang had alleged that after Father Soni Thomas took over as principal of the school in 2016, the place has been turned into a place of debauchery and bribery, while muscle power has been used over the affairs of the school.

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He had stated that the organisation has concrete evidence to prove that Soni Thomas was in a physical relationship with a Meitei woman, N. Barbie (name changed) who happened to be an employee working under him. The sexual relationship between Father and Barbie cannot be termed as one between two consenting adults as Soni Thomas has defied the canon laws of the Catholic Church that requires clerics as Priest or Father, he said.

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Father Soni is on record for having told Barbie that he does not want to leave the Catholic School Canchipur on account of his love for her, Ngamkhei Lakpa alleged. He has broken almost all the three vows that had taken while entering into Priesthood or Monastic life i.e poverty, chastity and obedience, he added.

Image credit - By Thangjam Sanjoo




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