In a shocking incident, Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, a 60-year-old priest who spoke vigorously against the rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal was found dead in Bhogpur in Jalandhar on Monday morning, reported Mathrubhumi.
According to news reports, Father Kuriakose Kattuthara had stood against the rape accused Bishop Franco and also had given a statement to the police against him relating to the nun-rape case. While Father Kuriakose is said to have been suffering from age-related ailments, a group of priests have alleged conspiracy in the sudden death of Father Kuriakose.
Father Kuriakose’s brother, Jose Kattuthara while speaking to Mathrubhumi news has put forth his that suspicion regarding his brother’s death and alleged that he has been killed for giving a statement against Bishop Franco Mulakkal.
Earlier, Father Kuriakose had claimed that he was constantly threatened by church officials for standing against the rape accused Bishop. In an earlier interview to Mathrubhumi, Fr Kuriakose had said, “The sisters had approached me complaining about Bishop Franco. They did not approach the Kerala police fearing the bishop. In fact, I fear what will happen to me for speaking out against him.”
Father Kuriakose worked as a priest and teacher at the Jalandhar diocese and had supported the Missionaries of Jesus nun, who had accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal of rape. As per police, blood pressure tablets were found at the spot and it was found that he had vomited over the bed.
It was found that he vomited over the bed. Blood pressure tablets were found at the spot. Investigation is underway. In our notice, no security was provided to him: AR Sharma, DSP Dasuya, on Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, witness in Kerala nun rape case, found dead pic.twitter.com/wot6nzxRwU
— ANI (@ANI) October 22, 2018
The police has said that no injuries were found on him and they will investigate the case.
Rape accused Bishop Franco was granted conditional bail in the case on October 15 in the nun rape case. The bishop has also been ordered by the court to surrender his passport to the court and visit the investigation team once every two weeks.
After his release, Bishop Franco was given a grand welcome in Jalandhar where people had arrived in large numbers. People garlanded him while reciting slogans and chants to honour the rape accused. The embracing of an accused who was out on a conditional bail had resulted in not only victim shaming but was also considered as an attempt to derail the ongoing investigation.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal, Archdiocese of Jalandhar, Punjab, was arrested by the police officials on September 21st after the investigating team finally found evidence that linked him in the sexual harassment case. A nun from Kerala had accused a Bishop from Jalandhar of raping her. The accused, Franco Mulakkal, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, is said to have raped her at a guest house in Kuravilangad in May 2014 and exploited her sexually on several other occasions.