Kottayam: Former nuns, who have quit the Catholic ministry, have given a clean chit to the Bishop, who has been accused of sexually abusing a Kerala nun, police said on Thursday. According to the Kottayam Police probing the allegations, the few former nuns, who had worked under Franco Mulakkal, the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar (Punjab), have said that he is “not a trouble-maker”. The police team went to Bengaluru to take the statements from the former nuns.
The probe team has also sent a notice to a lady, presently based in north India to come forward, as she has complained against the nun who has levelled the allegation against Mulakkal. These events have come as a huge relief for the bishop for the first time since the allegation was made. The turnaround for the beleaguered bishop comes after former Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan on Tuesday wrote to state police chief Loknath Behra, demanding Mulakkal’s arrest.
Achuthanandan had also handed over a detailed statement supporting evidences from the father of the nun who has suffered at the hands of Mulakkal. This new development in the case has come after the police stepped up protection to the convent near Kottayam, which is home to the nun, who had alleged that she was sexually abused by Mulakkal.
Seven time legislator P.C. George also expressed doubts on the veracity of the allegations against the Bishop. “What surprises me is as per statements she says that she was abused 13 times before and now she has complained. This is something baffling. Let us wait for the complete truth to unfold,” said George, also a Catholic. For Mulakkal, trouble started in June when the nun alleged that she was sexually abused by him 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 at Kuruvalangadu. She alleged that the abuse took place at the convent. Mulakkal maintains that he has done no wrong.