Poonjar MLA PC George on Saturday triggered a major controversy as he questioned the character of the nun who was allegedly raped by Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulackal.

“What do you call a nun who has sexual relations with someone over a two-year period?” George asked at a press conference in Kottayam.

“I am not saying that the Bishop hasn’t done any wrong, but when you weigh his character against that of this nun, it is evident she is not above reproach. She says she was abused 13 times. How is it possible that she didn’t have any complaint 12 times and it only became rape the 13th time? A nun is supposed to be a virgin. Like the mother of Jesus. If a nun loses her virginity, she cannot be treated as a nun,” he added.

While he tried to defame the nun, George said he was not defending the Bishop.

His press conference came on a day members of various Catholic reformation organisations took to the streets in Kochi to protest the alleged laxity in the probe into a complaint of rape filed by a nun against a Roman Catholic church bishop.

Five nuns from a convent in Kottayam, to which the victim belonged, also took part in the demonstration and alleged that the victim had been denied justice by the church, police and the government as no action was initiated against accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar diocese.  The protesters held placards demanding arrest of Bishop Franco.

“We are fighting for our sister. She has been denied justice by the Church, government and the police. We are ready to go to any extent for ensuring justice to our sister,” said one of the five nuns.

She sought to know why Bishop Franco had not been arrested despite sufficient evidence against him and also questioned the Church’s stand on the matter.

“Seventy-four days have passed since the complaint was made against Bishop Franco. The police recorded her statements several times. But the accused bishop was interrogated only once,” the nun said.

They alleged that the police probing the case were trying to sabotage the investigation.

In her complaint filed at Kuravilangad police station, the victim had alleged that she had received death threats from unknown people two months ago. The nun has accused Jalandhar Bishop Franco of raping and having unnatural sex with her multiple times between 2014 and 2016.

A special team probing the case has said according to preliminary investigation, Bishop Franco abused his position and repeatedly raped the nun.

(With agency inputs)