A senior nun from Kerala has filed a police complaint against the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, Punjab for raping her multiple times over two years.
The nun, an inhabitant of a convent in Kuruvilangad, has charged Bishop Franco Mulakkal with rape in her complaint and alleged that he sexually harassed her more than 14 times since 2014. She was working in an institution that functions under the Jalandhar diocese, headed by the Bishop.
In the complaint, she accused that Bishop Franco raped her at a guesthouse in Kuravilangad in May 2014 and later sexually exploited her several times. The incident came to light when she filed a police complaint in Kerala. According to news reports, she had earlier complained about the incident to the Church but no action has been taken against the accused. She approached the police after the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church ignored her complaint.
Meanwhile, Bishop Franco has also filed a complaint against the nun to Kerala police, alleging that she was blackmailing him after he transferred her from the present institution. Bishop Mullakkal alleged that the nun’s family members, too, had threatened to entrap him in a rape case if he did not withdraw his order.
The incident came to light when the nun lodged a complaint before the district police chief a couple of days ago. According to sources close to the nun, she had earlier complained about the incident to Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, the then head of the Kerala-based church. However, she was forced to move a police complaint after the Church reportedly took no action on her complaint.
"I have nothing more to say, will proceed with the legal action against the Bishop, " the nun told the media.
Bishop Franco was seen in the forefront to protest against the Kathua rape and murder. He led protest marches and candle light vigils in Punjab seeking justice for the Kathua victim. He has also authored a book titled ‘A theological investigation into the moral teachings of Guru Nànak from a Catholic perspective’.