Kerala Nun Rape Case Timeline
The Bishop from Jalandhar parish Franco Mulakkal has been accused in charge of rape, sexual assault, illegal detention and criminal coercion to a 44-year old parishioner of the Missionaries of Jesus in Kerala during his official visits between 2014 and 2016.
After the court held the diocesan responsible for the transgressing act committed by him and apprehended the incriminated, the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India and the Latin Catholic Church have dissociated themselves from the defiled former Bishop of Jalandhar. This is the first instance in the history of India when the country is witnessing such dishonourable and illegitimate act being taken place since the establishment of Christanity in 6th century AD.
In the month of June, 2018, the nun accused Mulakkal for molesting her 13 times at the convent in Kuravilangad near Kottayam in Kerala while restraining her to a guest room for a period of two years. Mulakkal has also been incriminated by the three nuns of approaching them with vicious intentions amounting to sexual assault besides the chief claimant.
Mulakkal was interrogated four times by the Special Investigation Team since the charges cropped up. Primarily, he was questioned in Jalandhar where there were few cracks found in his story by investigating commissioners which did not corresponded with the chronology of episodes accepted by the nun in her complaint. Investigating Commissioners cross-examined him with 150 questions on the first day of his investigation in the Crime Branch Office in Tripunthura on the outskirts of Cochi in Ernakulam district. Due to the availability of ultra-modern interrogation mechanisms such as two-way mirrors, microphones, hidden cameras and wireless devices, this session was set up at a specific venue.
Since the protest by nuns associated with the Missionaries of Jesus and social activists are demanding immediate seize of the former Bishop, this occurrence has taken a national stage. Before making his passage to Kochi from Jalandhar, Mulakkal sent a message to Pope Francis requesting to deputise him for his priestly duties as the Bishop of Jalandhar. He turned over the management of the diocese before his arrest. As this is the first accusation of molestation against the former Bishop antecedes to 2014, there is surely a misplacement of scientific testimonies in the case. Kottayam SP Hari Shankar told to the media that they have taken him into custody on the basis of reasonable suggestions.
In another curve cropping up in the Kerala nun rape case, a nun blamed for putting in lots of attempts for crippling the testimonies and defending the rape-accused Mulakkal. According to the reporters, Kerala court’s magistrate PA Sirajuddhin has found some inconsistency in the copies of the cyber forensic releases proposed in a DVD by the Police and the laboratory. Sister Anupama is surmising that Mulakkal is the only person to be engaged in the meddling of the testimonies in the case. She said that she would surely register a charge against the cyber forensic laboratory if they would not present the real testimony to the Police.
After the nun’s statement, the investigating commissioners were asked by the judicial first-class magistrate court to provide a fresh copy of the cyber forensic report. After having a look at the fresh copy of forensic report by the police, the magistrate made a declaration. The defence counsel has directed the prosecution to produce complete records related to the case. Augustine Vattoly, a monk in Kerala who was a previous defender of the nun’s accusations said that it would be a new start for the priests and bishop if justice is done to nuns. He has been directed by his superiors to stay away or be ready to face the consequences. According to him, there will be no person visiting church just like in Europe as the faith of the people will be shattered.
The nun seeking justice for the victim has put in the knowledge of Vatican’s representative in India that he was trying to use political and money support for embedding the case and sought his discharge.This protest against the violation of the nuns is gaining momentum in the state over the continuous efforts of hampering the testimonies and alleged police inaction.
Kerala minister EP Jayarajan has guaranteed the ministry support for nuns in the justification and also assured them for the Police support as and when required in the future. ‘No one should try to outrage the modesty of the woman’, said the minister.
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