The Kerala police is likely to call rape accused Fr Franco Mullakal to the state for questioning.

VS Achuthanandan voices support for protesting nuns demands arrest of Jalandhar bishop
news Sexual Assault Monday, September 10, 2018 - 08:58

The voices of support for what is being termed as a landmark protest by five nuns demanding the arrest of Jalandhar Bishop for allegedly raping their colleague are growing louder. Former Kerala Chief Minister and CPI(M) leader VS Achuthanandan is the latest to come out in support of the nuns.

VS Achuthanandan has demanded the immediate arrest of the Bishop Fr Franco Mulakkal. According to media reports, Achuthanandan said that any delay in the arrest of the rape accused bishop will result in people losing faith in the system.

According to a report by Deccan Chronicle, the former Kerala CM said that the victim is under a lot of pressure as the accused is a high official and wields power on all the teams that are probing the case. Achuthanandan went on to say that questioning the nun time and again was not the right thing to do, even as the Bishop remained unquestioned and safe because of the power and influence he has. “This has not gone down well with the people,” he said. “It was when they knew that all doors were closed, they resorted to stage a protest,” VS added.

Former Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president, VM Sudheeran has also come out in support of the nuns and has requested the government to take immediate action regarding the case.  In his Facebook post, Sudheeran had also lashed out at MLA PC George over his derogatory comments about the nun, who was allegedly raped by the Jalandhar Bishop multiple times. “I condemn PC George’s action of insulting the nun who was assaulted and the people who came out in support of the nun,” he said.

The five nuns of the Missionaries of Jesus in Kottayam - Anupama, Alphy, Josephine, Neena Rose and Anitha are determined to get justice for their colleague as they have begun protesting outside the Kerala High Court since Saturday demanding the arrest of the Bishop, Fr Franco Mulakkal.

According to a report by News18, the Kerala police plans on calling the Bishop to Kerala for questioning. The decision follows a meeting convened by the District Police Chief in Kottayam. A confirmation regarding this decision will be made on September 12, following a meeting with the Inspector General of Police (IG).

A 44-year-old Catholic nun from the Missionaries of Jesus had accused the Jalandhar Bishop Fr Franco Mulakkal of raping her 13 times from 2014 onwards.  When the Catholic Church failed to take any action on her complaint, she approached the Kerala police in June this year. He was then booked under Section 376 of the IPC (punishment for rape).

Though the Kerala police questioned the bishop on August 13, they have made no move to arrest him or interrogate him further. Slamming the police’s inaction, Sister Alphy said, “The police has repeatedly taken the statement of the victim nun, but they have taken Franco Mulakkal’s statement only once. It’s been 74 days since she gave a complaint, but other than the police questioning the victim, we don’t see any other progress.”

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