A high-level meeting of police is under way in Kerala to decide on the arrest of Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal who has been accused of raping a nun. A notice is likely to be issued to summon the bishop.
It was in June when the victim brought allegations against Bishop Franco saying he raping her several times between 2014 and 2016.
An FIR was registered against the bishop and a 114-page detailed statement was taken from the nun and other inmates of the convent. However, Mulakkal has denied any wrongdoing.
According to media reports, a memo filed by the Kerala police in the matter confirmed sexual assault on the nun.
The memo, dated August 13, reportedly covers the findings of a six-member team which visited Jalandhar to investigate the case and collect evidence.
The memo reveals that the medical examination of the victim had confirmed that her hymen was torn which confirmed the act of unnatural sex or rape.
In August, the special team of police had told the Kerala High Court that the nun was repeatedly raped.
The Kerala High Court on Monday had directed the state government to file an affidavit detailing the steps taken on the complaint of a nun alleging that a bishop sexually abused her for two years.
According to the media reports, the brother of the rape survivor has alleged that he was offered a bribe of Rs 5 crore to convince his sister to withdraw her complaint.
Many nuns have taken to streets near the Kerala High Court in Kochi to protest against the delay in action against the bishop. The protest was called due to the fact that since the case was registered more than 70 days ago, the police have taken 12 statements from the victim and only one from the accused bishop.
The 46-year-old Kerala nun has now written a letter to the Vatican seeking justice, and listing the names of all the people in the church she has approached for help and stating that none have bothered to help her, or take action against the rape-accused bishop.
In a seven-page letter, written on 8 September, to the Apostolic Nuncio of India, GiambattistaDiquattro – an Ambassador to the Pope the nun pointed out that bishop Franco has been approaching many other nuns in Missionaries of Jesus with a bad motive. Many nuns have complaints about bishop. But, the complainants were transferred to other states by the bishop as a punishment.
At least 20 nuns left Missionaries of Jesus within five years due to issues with the bishop. Stating that Bishop Franco is using his political power and money to get higher authorities of the investigation and the government to bury legal proceedings against him in the rape case, she said that the Special Investigation Team probing the case, though collected enough proofs, could not arrest him because of his political and financial power.
The nun wrote in the letter that she has been considering the church as her mother, but her experience proved that the Church is a stepmother to women and laity. “From childhood we have been taught to believe that the Church is our mother. But in the light of my experience I am beginning to think that the Church is a stepmother to women and laity,” the nun said in the letter
She explains in detail about how she knocked on several doors for months, but no one was willing to help. To make it worse, most of the higher ups in the church did not even acknowledge her letters to them
Explaining her plight in detail, the nun pleads the Church authorities to take steps to make a speedy inquiry about her case and remove Bishop Franco.