No action against MLA who branded complainant a 'prostitute'?

Frederick Owens
September 11, 2018

In a seven-page letter addressed to the Apostolic Nunciature, the nun alleged that Mulakkal, a Roman Catholic church bishop, is using money power to scuttle the complaint against him.

A Kottayam Police Superintendent, SP Hari Sankar, told the paper that they do not have enough evidence to arrest the bishop. Five nuns had joined the protest. She says she was abused 13 times.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Jalandhar diocese, who has been accused by a nun from Kerala of raping her multiple times between 2014 and 2016, defended himself on Tuesday. 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. In a related development, Kerala Latin Catholic Association, the official laity organisation of Kerala Latin Church, wrote to the president of Conference of Catholic Bishops in India (CCBI) Oswald Cardinal Gracias and the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Giambattista Diquattro, urging them to take urgent measures "in accordance with the provisions of canon law and to let civil law take its own course".

The hands of the police appeared to be tied and it was a shame that no action had been taken against the bishop so far, he said.

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However, following the protest, the Kerala High Court on September 10 asked the police to submit a report on the action that has been taken since the complaint was lodged. Acting like a judge, George said that at first, he thought that the Bishop is despicable but after going through the case he realised that it was the nun who is creating trouble.

In a three-page statement issued to media, the congregation also alleged that the protest on the nuns are against faith. The statement has also said that the allegations against the Bishop are completely baseless. "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". He was quoted saying by news agency ANI: "No one has doubt that the nun is a prostitute".

Mulakkal added that he has been cooperating with the investigation in the case and will continue to do so.

Kerala's controversial MLA, P.C. George, who shot to national spotlight on Sunday after calling a rape victim nun as prostitute, may be staring at punitive action by National Commission for Women (NCW).

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