Pressure is mounting on the Kerala police and the state government with the nuns protest entering the sixth day on Thursday. The protesting nuns are demanding the arrest of Jalandhar Bishop Fr Franco Mulakkal who is accused of raping their colleague.
Since the sisters began their protest, the Missionaries of Jesus (MJ), the congregation to which the survivor nun belongs to, have made their support to the accused Bishop clear, issuing press statements to that effect.
In a press release on Wednesday, Missionaries of Jesus stated that it suspects that there is some kind of deep conspiracy behind the allegations put forward by the nuns against the Bishop and the congregation. “This is part of an agenda to destroy the image of the Jalandhar Bishop, the MJ congregation and the Jalandhar diocese,” reads the press release.
The statement signed by Sister Amala, the Public Relations Officer, also goes on to say that it is necessary to investigate in detail all the strangers who visited the Kuravilangad convent in the months before the allegations against the Bishop were first made.
“We were able to understand that one of the leaders of an organisation that once tried to destroy the diocese is also part of the conspiracy along with the protesting nuns,” the press release said. “It has also come to our notice that some of the people who are participating in the protest are people with some secretive behaviour and the kind of people who in no way are supposed have any relation with nuns,” the statement added.
The press release says that nuns are people who live with very minimum expenses but the protesting nuns have been spending a lot especially with the protest related activities. “It is necessary to seriously investigate into where they are getting so much money to spend,” the statement added.
The Missionaries of Jesus had in its Tuesday press statement resorted to character assassination of the 44-year-old nun survivor. In its statement, the congregation alleged that the nun had affairs with two men and that she raised “malicious allegations” against the “innocent” bishop when he was planning to reprimand her.
"When it was clear that strict action will be taken against her because her lifestyle did not match the life a nun, she submitted a request to leave sisterhood, only to withdraw the request four days later. It is necessary to find out who all visited the Kuravilangad convent during these four days," the earlier statement said.
In June 2018, the PR office of the Missionaries of Jesus had filed a third police complaint against the survivor nun, and family members of five of her colleagues, and another man alleging that they had threatened to murder Bishop Franco.