Sunday, 18 August, 2019

NCW summons PC George over abusive language against rape survivor

Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar diocese Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar diocese may be summoned to Kerala for interrogation said a senior police officer
Patty Aguilar | 11 September, 2018, 19:30

According to The Indian Express, earlier in June, a fellow nun from Missionaries of Jesus in Kottayam filed a complaint against the Bishop accusing him of raping her repeatedly 13 times since the year 2014.

The case in the southern state of Kerala has attracted worldwide attention, as it is extremely rare for nuns to publicly accuse a superior of wrongdoing, let alone sexual assault.

In a first for the Catholic Church in India, a group of nuns is demanding the arrest of a bishop accused of sexual assault. "We are not getting justice from the police, from the church authorities or from the government so we thought of conducting this hunger strike", said a nun who did not want to be named.

She made the complaint only after Mullackal went to the police claiming the alleged victim and five other nuns were harassing and blackmailing him. In 1990, two nuns were raped in the course of a robbery at a church in Gajraula, Uttar Pradesh, the case received global attention, but the trial turned into a travesty of justice when the police tried to establish that the suspects were in custody at the time when the crime was committed. The nuns and their families are facing mental trauma and continuous pressure from the church, but they are keen to fight for their fellow sister.

PC George in an interaction with media questioned the character of the nun and called her a "prostitute". The police recorded her statements several times.

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"We have got some details from the statement of the nun and police are examining this", he said. Then in the same week itself, Bishop Franco made a special visit to this community and stayed there overnight. "But the accused bishop was interrogated only once", the nun said.

The 46-year old nun is at the centre of a sex scandal running afoul in Kerala's Catholic Church.

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

Former Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan came out in support of the nun and urged the government to take steps to redress the grievances of agitating nuns.

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.

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