Kerala nun case: chargesheet against Bishop Franco soon

Kerala nun case: chargesheet against Bishop Franco soon

Former bishop of Jalandhar Franco Mulakkal. Reuters file photo

The Kerala police on Saturday assured a section of nuns that chargesheet against former bishop of Jalandhar Franco Mulakkal, who is accused of raping a nun, will be filed soon.

Kottayam district police chief Hari Shankar, who has been supervising the probe, told a delegation of nuns that the chargesheet was almost ready and was expected to be filed in a week. The nuns expressed apprehension that the church was imposing undue pressure on some of the key witnesses in the case.

Sister Anupama, who was part of the delegation, said that if the filing of chargesheet got delayed further they would be left with no other option but to stage public demonstration again.

Police sources told DH that the chargesheet was prepared and was being scrutinised at the police headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram. As soon as the scrutiny is over, it would be filed.

The nuns called on the district police chief after sister Lizi Vadakeyil, a key witness in the case against Franco, said that she was facing threat and pressure from the church authorities to give a statement in favour of Franco. Attempts were even made to frame her as mentally unstable and thereby make her a weak witness, Sister Lizi told a section of media on Saturday.

The nun, who belong to the SC Convent at Muvattupuzha, about 40 kilometres from Kochi, had given statement to the investigation officers that the nun who was allegedly raped by Franco had told her earlier about the ordeal she had been suffering from Franco. The convent authorities had even transferred sister Lizi to Vijayawada after they came to know recently that she gave a statement against Franco. She was denied permission to meet her sick mother. Her relatives had to approach police in this connection last month.

The district police chief said that adequate protection was already being provided to the nuns of the Kottayam convent. The police was also taking steps to ensure protection of sister Lizi at Muvattupuzha, he said.