Sister Anupama, who was at the forefront of protests demanding the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun, was on Thursday heckled and asked by some people to leave the cemetery where the funeral of a key witness in the rape case was going on.

Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, a key witness in the Kerala nun rape case was found dead under mysterious circumstances in his personal room in St. Mary’s Church in Dasuya on Monday.

Read | Kerala nun rape | Father Kuriakose, key witness against Bishop Franco, found dead in Jalandhar

Father Kattuthara, 60, was known for vociferously speaking against Mulakkal. The exact cause of his death is not known yet.

The post-mortem was held at Jalandhar and body brought to Kerala Wednesday.

At the funeral this evening, a section of the faithful protested Anupama and a few other nuns’ presences and asked them to leave the cemetery at St Mary’s church in Pallipuram near here.

Reacting to the incident, Sister Anupama, who was accompanied by other nuns, broke down and said she was “deeply hurt” by the protests.

“I am from this place. I know Father Kattuthara for many years. He has seen me as his own daughter.. we have only stood for truth,” she said.

Father Kattuthara’s death comes days after Mulakkal, who was arrested and is presently out on bail, reached Jalandhar from Kerala.

Mulakkal, who was granted conditional bail on October 15, had received a rousing welcome from his followers and supporters when he returned to Jalandhar.

Read: Kerala nun rape | Key witness dead, accused Bishop Franco expresses ‘sadness’

Bishop Franco Mulakkal was arrested in Kochi on September 21 after he was accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a nun between 2014 and 2016.

In her complaint to the Kottayam Police in June, the rape victim alleged that Mulakkal raped her at a guest house in Kuravilangad in May 2014 and later sexually exploited her 13 times between 2014-16.

However, Mulakkal denied the charges as “baseless and concocted,” insisting she levelled those as the Catholic order had rejected her demand for favours.

Earlier last week, the Kerala High Court granted conditional bail to Bishop Franco Mulakkal, stating that Franco should not enter Kerala and that he should surrender his passport before the court.

(With agency inputs)