IndiaKerala: On the acquittal of Bishop Mulakkal in the...

Kerala: On the acquittal of Bishop Mulakkal in the rape case, the nuns said – ready to die for justice

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A nun had accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Jalandhar Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church of raping her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. A Kerala court on Friday acquitted Bishop, citing the prosecution’s failure to produce evidence against him.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The nuns of Kottayam’s Kuravilangad convent, National Commission for Women Chairperson Rekha Sharma and others have extended their support to the victim after the court’s decision to acquit Bishop Franco Mulakkal of rape charges against the nun.

The nuns of Kuravilangad Convent, who are supporting the victim in this fight for justice, say that this decision will be challenged.

Please tell that the victim nuns live in this convent. Sister Anupama, who has been the face of this fight for justice for the victim nun for many years, says that she will take her colleague’s fight forward.

The nun told reporters, “We will continue to live in the convent and we will continue to pursue it till justice is done.” Police and prosecution have shown us the path of justice but we have not got justice from the judiciary yet.

He said that this verdict has given a message that common people like him should not break their silence against any kind of injustice and fight for whatever has happened to them.

He said, ‘Those who are rich and influential, they can do anything in this society. This is what we are seeing around us now. We did not feel anything strange till the debate in the matter.

When asked if they would be safe in the convent? To this, he said that he was never safe there and he could not uncover many things happening inside the institute.

Advocate Sandhya Raju, who is assisting the prosecution, told The News Minute, “The whole effort is to look at the sexual assault victim in a ruthless and mechanical manner. An attempt was made to humiliate the victim psychologically.

Sister Anupama made it clear that she was ready to die to get justice for the victim.

Activist-nun Sister Lucy Kalappura said the decision was regrettable and hoped that justice would be done at any cost in the High Court.

Let us tell you that Lucy took part in the victim’s fight for justice and was recently expelled from the Congregation.

Supporting the nun, National Commission for Women Chairperson Rekha Sharma tweeted, “Shocked by the decision of the Additional District and Sessions Court of Kerala. The aggrieved nun should approach the High Court. NCW is with him in this fight for justice.

wrong message

Terming the decision as very unfortunate and unnatural, senior IPS officer S. Harishankar said that 100 per cent conviction was expected in the case. This decision is shocking for the entire legal system of the country.

Let us inform that Harishankar had headed the Special Investigation Team in the rape case. “The argument is that the woman should have reacted at the time of molestation, which is unacceptable,” he told reporters. Challenging this decision, an appeal will be filed in the High Court. The state police chief has already given instructions in this regard and an appeal will be made at the earliest as soon as the copy of the decision is received.

He said that even the Supreme Court has clarified several times that the statement of the victim (if relevant and without contradiction) is satisfactory evidence for conviction.

He said that this would send a wrong message to the society and people facing similar harassment.

Public Prosecutor Jitesh J. Babu said that it was a one line decision and full details could be known only after getting the copy of the verdict.

He said, ‘We don’t know what happened? 39 witnesses have given statements in support of the prosecution. None of the witnesses turned hostile. 122 documents were produced and there was sufficient evidence in the case. There was no mistake in anything.

He also said that the decision will be challenged in the High Court. The decision will be taken only after discussions with the government and investigators.

Bishop said – God’s grace

Mulakkal, who reached the court for the hearing of the verdict, broke down after hearing the verdict and hugged his supporters and lawyers. Outside the court, the bishop said, ‘Only those trees are pelted with fruits which bear fruit. I am proud. God’s grace. Many of his followers were seen crying with joy.

Let us tell you that a nun from Kerala, in her complaint to the police in June 2018, had alleged that Mulakkal had raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. He was then Bishop of the Jalandhar Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church.

The police of Kottayam district had registered a case of rape against Bishop in June 2018.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal was arrested by the Special Investigation Team probing the case on September 21, 2018 and he got conditional bail from the court on October 15 of the same year. After being released on bail, he was welcomed with flowers and garlands in Jalandhar.

The nun had accused him of wrongful confinement, rape, unnatural sex and criminal intimidation. The hearing in the case began in November 2019, which was completed on January 10.

Apart from this, the court had prohibited the print and electronic media from broadcasting any material related to the trial without its permission.

It is known that in February 2020, Bishop Franco Mulakkal was accused of sexual abuse by another nun.

The 35-year-old nun was a witness to the ongoing rape case against Franco Mulakkal, who recorded her statement before the police alleging that the bishop had made sexual and obscene remarks on her over the phone and touched her inappropriately .

The nun said in her statement that she was afraid of the bishop that she might be thrown out of the group, so she was silent till now.

Categories: India, Special

Tagged as: Bishop Franco Mulakkal, Bishop Mulakkal, Diocese of Jalandhar, Jalandhar Bishop, Jalandhar Diocese, Kerala, Kerala Nun Rape Case, Kerala Police, Kottayam Court, Missionaries of Jesus, News, Nun Rape Case, Rape accused Bishop, superior general regina Kandamthottu, Vatican

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