A group of nuns in Kerala’s Kochi city on Saturday protested the delay in taking action against Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal, who is accused of sexually assaulting a nun. The nuns, along with some activists, staged a dharna at the High Court junction, alleging that the police and church officials had denied them justice, the Hindustan Times reported.
“More than 70 days have passed since the nun filed a police complaint against the bishop,” an unidentified nun said. “We have given clinching evidence also. It seems the police are reluctant to take action due to pressure. Church and police both let us down. Now, we pin our hopes on the judiciary.”
The complainant has accused Mulakkal of raping her several times between 2014 and 2016. The nun is a member of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation based in Punjab’s Jalandhar, but it runs two convents in Kerala – one in Kottayam and the other in Kannur. The alleged abuse took place in Kottayam.
Some Catholic organisations, including the Kerala Catholic Church Reformation, took part in Saturday’s protest, The Indian Express reported. Kerala Catholic Church Reformation official George Joseph said they were planning to continue the demonstrations until justice is delivered.
The complainant will address a press conference in Kottayam on Sunday and move a petition in the High Court on Monday, said one of protesting nuns. She added that the Kerala Police team’s visit to Jalandhar was an eyewash.
On August 13, Kottayam Deputy Superintendent of Police K Subhash told the Kerala High Court that the investigation was proceeding “effectively and impartially”. The police said the initial investigation showed that the bishop had raped the nun.