Kuravilangad nuns seek protection to witnesses in the nun’s rape against bishop Franco Mulakkal

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KOCHI: Five nuns, who protested against rape accused Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, have demanded protection to witnesses in the light of the reported refusal by a nun to lodge a complaint against the prelate for alleged sexual assault.

 

The nun, who is the 14th witness in the case, had alleged in the statement she gave to the police in September 19, 2018 that the bishop had inappropriately touched her body during his visit to her convent in Kerala in 2017.

She said that the bishop had started making sex chats with her over phone, WhatsApp after she contacted him in 2015 in connection with various needs of the convent. The 35-year-old nun said she did not reveal this to anybody as she was scared of the bishop.

“Even though I was not interested in sex chatting, due to fear of the Bishop's displeasure and being ousted from the church, I did not object" the statement which got leaked ahead of the hearing on the bishop’s petition to discharge him from the case involving the alleged rape of a nun at the Missionaries of Jesus convent at Kuravilangad.

The five nuns, who have been backing the rape survivor, alleged that the nun was under pressure to disown the statement in the court. They said other witnesses in the case were also facing similar pressure from the bishop and his supporters in the church.

They have urged the Kerala government to provide protection to all the nuns. Save Our Sisters Forum, which was formed to support the nuns, has also aired similar concern. The forum office bearers alleged lapse on the part of the police in not registering against the bishop on the basis of the witness statement.

However, police sources said that they did not file a separate case based on this nun's revelations because she was unwilling to do so, and instead made her the 14th witness in the case.

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