Accused Bishop Franco Mullakal Steps Down, Kerala Nun Rape Case

Kerala Nun Rape Case: Accused Bishop Franco Mullakal Steps Down

Rape-accused Bishop, Franco Mulakkal stepped down as bishop of the Jalandhar Diocese and will hand over charge, reported.

The Bishop who is the primary accused in the Kerala nun rape case, stepped down on 15 September, just days after being summoned by Kerala police.

Kerala police on Wednesday, 12 September, summoned Bishop Franco Mulakkal, asking him to appear on 19 September.

This came after a high-level meeting among the relevant authorities was held for six hours.

Kerala High Court is set to hear the case on Thursday, 13 September.

On Thursday, 13 September, Jalandhar Police Commissioner PK Sinha said that the case came under the purview of the Kerala Police as the incident allegedly occurred there.

Earlier on 11 September, the Bishop broke his silence on the allegations of rape by the nun, claiming that the case was a conspiracy against the Church.

He added that he was questioned by the police for nine hours and said the nuns who were protesting had the “right” to do so.

“They (police) took her statement too and there were contradictions. They (police) are studying it as to who’s speaking the truth. I’ve heard they’re (nuns) protesting. It’s their right to protest,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Jalandhar police commissioner said his team would merely assist the Kerala police in their investigation, denying any active role in the case.

The Missionaries of Jesus Congregation alleged that Bishop Franco was accused of rape for acting on a complaint filed by a nun’s relative claiming she was having sexual relationship with complainant’s husband, reported.

The MoJ Congregation, of which the nun is a member, is reportedly planning to join the court case.

On Saturday, 8 September, five nuns from the victim’s Kottayam convent, to which the victim belonged, took part in the demonstration and alleged that she had been denied justice by the church, police and the government as no action has been initiated against the accused.

“We are fighting for our sister. She has been denied justice by the church, government and the police. We are ready to go to any extent for ensuring justice to our sister,” a nun told protesters, who held placards demanding arrest of Bishop Franco.

Meanwhile, the nun’s brother alleged that his friend was approached by the Bishop’s relative and two priests with an offer of Rs 5 crore in return for withdrawal of complaint, reported.

Meanwhile, in a disparaging comment, independent Kerala MLA PC George had called the victim “a prostitute”.

The nun’s family had said they would initiate legal action against George for hurting her sentiments.

What is the Case About?

The nun had accused Jalandhar Bishop Franco of raping and having unnatural sex with her multiple times between 2014 and 2016.

A police affidavit filed in the Kerala High Court said that investigation so far and the evidence collected revealed that the accused Bishop Franco “committed unnatural offence” and “committed rape” repeatedly, reported.

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