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‘He was being mentally and physically tortured’: Complaint filed against Bishop Franco for harassment of Father Kuriakose

She confirmed that Fr Kuriakose had differences with Mulakkal. This was also confirmed by Father James Chaco Ullatil, the head priest at Dasuya church, who said, “Father Kuriakose didn’t like the policies and working style of Franco”.

A complaint has been lodged against the Kerala nun rape case accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal by the brother of Father Kuriakose, who was found dead in Hoshiarpur, Punjab,  alleging harassment of his deceased brother by rape accused Bishop Mulakkal and his supporters as per reports.

Father Kuriakose had given a statement to the police against the rape accused Bishop Franco and stood in solidarity with the nuns who were demanding Bishop Franco’s arrest. Jose Kattuthara, Fr. Kuriakose’s brother, in the complaint lodged with Punjab’s Dasuya Police, has alleged that his brother was harassed mentally and physically at Mulakkal’s behest.

“I and my family members suspect that our brother’s death was not natural as he was under pressure and being tortured by Franco and his people,” Jose said in his complaint. Jose further told, “Father Kuriakose was the first priest who spoke against Franco through electronic media. Since then he was threatened by Franco and his own parish members started turning against him at Franco’s directions”. Jose recounted that Fr Kuriakose had told him about the harassment he was going through. “He (Kuriakose) told me that ever since Franco came out on bail, he was being mentally tortured,” Jose said.  In his final call to us last week, Father Kuriakose said that if Bishop Franco gets bail, his death would be imminent, and asked us to pray for him, Jose added.

Giving out other details Jose said, “Kattuthara’s salary was reduced to Rs 500 and that too was irregular. He was one of the senior priests of the diocese. All his positions were taken away from him. Kattuthara’s residence and a vehicle parked outside his residence was attacked the day he gave a statement against Mulakkal”.

Father Kuriakose was found dead in his room at St Mary’s Church in Dasuya by his cook around 9 am on Monday. According to Sister Lisabeth, the principal of the St Paul Convent School, who saw Fr Kuriakose’s body in his room, “When we broke opened the door, we found father lying on his bed. We immediately took him to the civil hospital, where he was declared brought dead”. “There was vomit in the room and some tablets were found near the bed,” she added.

She confirmed that Fr Kuriakose had differences with Mulakkal. This was also confirmed by Father James Chaco Ullatil, the head priest at Dasuya church, who said, “Father Kuriakose didn’t like the policies and working style of Franco”.

Meanwhile, the autopsy of Fr Kuriakose’s body has been conducted at the Civil Hospital in Dasuya on Tuesday. The details about the autopsy conducted have not been disclosed yet. Doctors involved in the autopsy said they found no external or internal injuries on Father Kattuthara’s body, and the cause of death will be revealed once the visceral report comes out.“The chemical analysis report will take around three months in arriving, and the histopathology report will come in a month and a half. Only then will we have complete clarity on the cause of death,” Dr Jaswinder Singh, a member of the hospital’s medical board, said.

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