Kottayam Superintendent of Police D Shilpa also said they have approached the Special Public Prosecutor to assess the scope for appeal in the case.

Several nuns sitting together at a protestFile photo
news Franco case Sunday, January 16, 2022 - 11:04

A day after a sessions court in Kerala acquitted Roman Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the charge of raping a nun in a convent in the state, Kerala police on Saturday, January 15, said it will conduct a threat assessment if necessary and provide protection to the nuns and their convent if required. Kottayam Superintendent of Police D Shilpa said they have approached the Special Public Prosecutor to assess the scope for appeal in the case.

"We have approached Special Public Prosecutor Jithesh Babu to assess whether there is any scope for appeal in the case. If there is, we will approach the government with necessary documents and seek permission for the appeal," Shilpa said. Mulakkal, (57), was accused of raping the nun multiple times during his visit to a convent in the district between 2014 and 2016 when he was the Bishop of the Jalandhar Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church. The complainant is a member of the Missionaries of Jesus, a diocesan congregation under the Jalandhar Diocese.

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When asked whether protection will be provided for the nuns at the convent, the district police chief said it will be given if required. "We are already providing security to the nuns. But if needed, we will conduct a threat assessment and if required, we will enhance the protection," she said.

Responding to the acquittal, four nuns, who were at the forefront of standing with the survivor, said that they will continue their battle until justice is delivered. Sister Anupama, one of the nuns, said that they considered the verdict acquitting Franco, as one based on power and money. “We are still unable to believe it. The justice we got from the police and the prosecutor, we didn't get from the judiciary. We will continue this fight until our sister gets justice. Everything was in our favor. We are not aware what happened after that,” Sr Anupama told the media, along with other three nuns outside their convent in Kuravilangad of Kottayam district.

Read: Bishop Franco rape case: The character assassination of the complainant nun

Meanwhile, the Bishop visited various churches and met former MLA PC George, who had been backing Mulakkal since the issue came out. The Bishop, after a brief meeting with George, left for other visits to churches nearby, but refused to comment before the media.

Read: Bishop Franco acquitted: What transpired inside and outside the courtroom

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