People express shock as rape accused Bishop is given a grand welcome in Jalandhar

In a shocking incident, Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun from the Missionaries of Jesus congregation, was welcomed like a hero at Jalandhar after he was granted conditional bail by the Kerala High Court. The rape accused Bishop was welcomed by showering him with rose petals and also garlanded by his supporters as he reached Jalandhar on Wednesday.

According to the reports, rape accused Bishop Mulakkal reached the Bishop House at Jalandhar around 5 pm on Wednesday. The supporters of the rape accused Bishop had arrived in large numbers including some nuns. After Franco arrived, many raised slogans in support of the accused rapist and recited prayers in support of Mulakkal and the Catholic Church.

The embracing of an accused who is out on a conditional bail has resulted in not only victim shaming but also an attempt to derail the ongoing case by depicting the accused as an ‘innocent’. Social media users were shocked after seeing the resounding welcome given to the rape accused Bishop Franco. Some social media users questioned the silence of so-called ‘feminists’ and ‘placard activists’ over the grand welcome given to the rape accused.

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They also questioned the media for remaining silent over this shocking incident and highlighted their hypocrisy over selectivity in reporting such incidents.

There were also questions raised against the unequal implementation of the law by the courts. The rape accused Bishop was given bail within 3 weeks of his arrest even though the Kerala police took 3 months to arrest the alleged rapist.

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. The nun has registered a complaint in June this year and has been allegedly threatened by the accused of doing so. The congregation has also stood by the rape accused and referred to him as an “innocent soul”. We had also reported that Kerala MLA PC George had called the alleged rape victim a ‘prostitute’. The Kerala High court had granted him a conditional bail on October 15th after asking him to appear before the investigation team once every two weeks and had also ordered to surrender his passport.

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