In yet another major setback to Kerala nun rape case, Sister Anupama, one of the five nuns who led the protests against Bishop Franco last year, has alleged that there are efforts being carried out to sabotage evidence to protect rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal.
According to the reports, expressed her fear over sabotaging the case after a local court in Pala, Kerala found irregularities in the copies of the cyber forensic report submitted in a DVD by the police and laboratory.
Sister Anupama, who is seeking justice for the victim nun allegedly raped by Bishop Franco, alleged that rape accused Bishop Franco is behind the efforts to tamper with evidence in the case. Sister Anupama said she will file a complaint against the forensic lab if real evidence is not handed over to the police. “This is a bid to prolong the trial,” Sister Anupama added.
Reportedly, the Pala court has issued the order after the magistrate PA Sirajuddin found a mismatch in the contents of the DVD submitted directly by the forensic lab earlier and the one submitted by police. The DVD handed over to the court has three folders, whereas the one given to the police has only two. Sister Anupama alleged the move not to hand over the entire evidence was intended to sabotage the case.
Another controversy related to the case had erupted after there were allegations against the Communist Kerala government after it had transferred two police officers who were probing against the Bishop.
Kottayam Superintendent of Police Harishankar and Vaikom Deputy SP Subash, who were the investigating officers in the Bishop Franco’s rape case had been issued marching orders by the state government raising serious questions about possible attempts to sabotage the investigation.
The Kerala government seems to be trying very hard to sabotage the rape case against Bishop Franco. The Kerala government has also conveniently appointed a CPI(M) member CS Ajayan as the Defence Attorney for Franco Mulakkal, in addition to two other lawyers.
Franco Mulakkal, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, was accused of raping a 44-year-old nun at a guest house in Kuravilangad in May 2014 and subsequent sexual exploitations afterwards. The nun had registered a complaint on June 2018 and has also claimed that despite her complaints, the church took no action on the bishop.
The congregation had also stood by the rape accused and referred to him as an “innocent soul”. The Malankara Orthodox Church had been supporting the rape accused Bishop and attempts were also made to vilify the victim nun.
Despite the initial delay in the arrest of the Bishop, Kerala police acted subsequently upon the incriminating pieces of evidence present against Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Archdiocese of Jalandhar, Punjab, for allegedly raping a nun from Kerala on multiple occasions. Rape accused Bishop Franco was granted conditional bail in the case on October 15 in the case.
After his release, Bishop Franco was given a grand welcome in Jalandhar where people had arrived in large numbers. Since his release, the Missionaries of Jesus has attempted to silence those four nuns for supporting the victim nun who had accused Bishop Franco of rape.
The four nuns who had supported the rape survivor nun were asked to leave the Kuravilangad convent, and go to convents, previously assigned to them. Shockingly, apart from threats and intimidation, Father Kuriakose who had testified against Bishop Franco was found dead under mysterious circumstances.