KOCHI: The Kerala Police on Tuesday filed a 1400 page chargesheet against rape accused and former Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal, who was arrested for alleged sexually abusing a nun between 2014 and 2016.
The chargesheet was submitted before the Pala Magistrate Court, where the trial will take place.
The charges against the bishop include illegal confinement, rape, unnatural sex, detention of woman, and repeated sexual abuse of the same woman.
It includes names 83 witnesses, which include the Cardinal of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Mar George Alencherry, three bishops, 11 priests and several nuns.
Earlier, Sister Anupama, along with three other nuns had staged a public protest and received massive public support. Last month, the nuns also threatened to launch another protest if the charge sheet was delayed.
“After a few months of struggle, we are very happy that this is finally happening. This is proof that God is with us and truth will win” Sister Anupama said.
“We feel we have got 50 per cent justice and we wish to thank the police team. We know only half of the job is done, and hope the trial will start soon”, she added.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal, former head of the Roman Catholic diocese was arrested on September 24 for allegedly raping a nun, had been sent to the sub-jail by the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court at Pala.
He had granted conditional bail by the Kerala High court on October 15, had received a grand welcome from his followers.
A 14-day protest by five MJ nuns, in Kochi, demanded action against Franco had won massive public support, which also expedites the clergyman’s arrest.
The KCBC had urged believers to identify the enemies of the Church, media with vested interests and malcontent elements within the Church who organized a campaign to weaken the Church, using the rape case as a front.
Mulakkal, who heads the Roman Catholic Diocese in Jalandhar, Punjab, is the first bishop in the country to be sent to jail on charges of rape.
The nun’s complaint claimed that the bishop had raped her in a guesthouse in Kuravilangad on May 2014 and was sexually harassed several times after the incident.
But the bishop had rejected all the allegations pointing out that her statements are baseless and she does this because the church had rejected her demands for favours.