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Kerala nun rape case: Victim alleges harassment, police officer who sent notice to Bishop Franco transferred by state govt

Vaikom police station Sub Inspector Mohandas had issued a notice to Franco asking him to justify as to why his bail should not be cancelled, over the victim's complaint of harassment. Reports say that he was immediately transferred.

A Kerala police officer who reportedly sent a notice to rape accused Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal has been transferred immediately from his post by the left government raising apprehension on the intentions of the state authority in the case concerning rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who is accused of raping a 44-year-old nun.

On October 19, the survivor nun in the rape case against Bishop Franco had filed a complaint against the Malayalam YouTube channel ‘Christian Times’ at the Kuravilangad police station, alleging that the channel was harassing her at the behest of Bishop Franco.

The Kuravilangad police handed over the case to Vaikom police for investigation. As part of the investigation, Vaikom police station Sub Inspector Mohandas had issued a notice to Franco asking him to justify as to why his bail should not be cancelled, in the face of such a complaint from the survivor. After he issued the notice on Wednesday, the police officer was immediately transferred to the Kottayam crime branch.

According to a report by The News Minute, the Malayalam YouTube channel, Christian Times, had allegedly released many videos against the victim and the nuns who had been supporting her. Moreover, the channel allegedly also tried to target the investigating officers through these videos.

The nun had lodged a complaint with the Kerala Women’s Commission alleging mental harassment in connection with the case concerning rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal. In her complaint, the nun has alleged that Mulakkal and his men are using social media platforms in order to defame her.

“The videos are intended to disrespect, abuse, intimidate and influence the witness, victim and the investigation team,” the complainant said.

Reportedly, the aggrieved nun stated that such actions are a violation of the bail conditions laid down by the Kerala High Court and sought intervention from the state women commission in the matter.

State Women’s Commission chairperson MC Josephine had said that the commission will take strict action against those who humiliate the victim and fellow nuns through social media. Josephine said, “The Women’s Commission has registered a case on this issue. The commission has directed the state police chief and cyber police to submit a report within 10 days.

It is being believed that this step to transfer the police officer was taken by the state government to prevent the officer from appearing in the court on November 11 when Bishop Franco Mulakkal is scheduled to face a trial in the rape case. This reestablishes the allegations which have been levelled against the state government in the past. It has been alleged that the Left government in Kerala has been trying to save the Bishop in the nun rape case.

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.

In July, Sister Anupama, one of the five nuns who led the protests against Bishop Franco last year, had alleged that there are efforts being carried out to sabotage evidence to protect rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal.

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