Rape case: Kerala nuns protest against police inaction

Rape case: Kerala nuns protest against police inaction

Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar diocese. Image courtesy Twitter

Five nuns from a convent in Kottayam took to the streets here Saturday alleging laxity in the probe into a complaint of rape filed by their sister nun against a Roman Catholic Church Bishop.

Joining the dharna organised by various Catholic organisations seeking reformation in the church, the nuns alleged that the victim had been denied justice by the Catholic Church, police and the government as no action has been initiated against accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar diocese.

"We are fighting for our sister. She has been denied justice by the Church, government and the police.We are ready to go to any extent for ensuring justice to our sister," a nun said addressing the protesters gathered here.

She sought to know why Bishop Franco has not been arrested despite sufficient evidence against him. She also questioned the Church's stand on the matter.

"Seventy four days have passed since the complaint was launched against Bishop Franco. The police had recorded her statements several times. But accused Bishop was interrogated only once," the nun said.

They alleged that the police probing the case was trying to sabotage the investigation.

The agitators held placards and demanded the arrest of Bishop Franco.

In her complaint filed at Kuravilangad Police Station, the victim had alleged that she had received death threats from unknown people two months ago.

In her complaint, the nun accused Jalandhar Bishop Franco of raping and having unnatural sex with her multiple times between 2014 and 2016.

A special team probing the case has said as per preliminary investigation, Bishop Franco abused his position and repeatedly raped the nun.

Responding to a petition seeking speedy investigation, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kottayam, K Subhash had informed the Kerala High Court on August 13 that the probe was proceeding effectively and impartially.

The police, in a statement based on initial investigation and available evidence, had said it was found that the Bishop allegedly committed unnatural offence and raped the nun against her will.

The bishop confined the nun to a guest room in St Francis Mission Home in Kuravilangad in Kottayam district of Kerala, the statement had alleged.

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