BJP holds protest, seeks action against bishop accused of raping Kerala nun

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Bishop Franco Mulakkal accused of raping Kerala nun multiple times between 2014 and 2016 stepped down on Saturday.

BJP workers, including women, raised slogans demanding immediate action against Bishop Franco Mulakkal. (Photo: Twitter | @BJP4Keralam)

Trivandrum: Protests for action against rape accused Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal continue to intensify with BJP workers staging agitation outside the Kerala secretariat.

Jaladhar Roman Catholic priest, Bishop Franco Mulakkal, is accused of raping a Kerala nun multiple times between 2014 and 2016.

BJP workers, including women, raised slogans demanding immediate action against Bishop Franco Mulakkal.

Police resorted to using water canon to disperse the agitators.

The survivor nun, who is in her 40s, had earlier this week written a letter to the Vatican seeking justice.

“Bishop Franco always had an eagle’s eye on the sisters of Missionaries of Jesus congregation and whichever sisters he felt attracted to, he tried to trap them by force or taking advantage of their weakness,” the letter read.

In her letter, the nun mentioned that though she had filed a complaint with the police two months ago, no action was taken against the bishop due to his influence.

The bishop has, however, dismissed the allegations as "baseless and concocted", insisting she levelled charges against the catholic order as it had rejected her demand for favours.

Meanwhile, the Kerala police have summoned Bishop Franco Mulakkal on September 19.

Bishop Mulakkal on Saturday handed over the charge of Jalandhar diocese to his second-in-command amid an ongoing probe in the case by Kerala police.

Read: Nun rape case: Bishop Franco steps down, to leave for Kerala soon

The case has now been brought to the notice of the Vatican and the representative from India is in Rome to discuss the issue.

Bishop Mulakkal in a letter dated September 13 mentioned that he would step down. He wrote, "I would like to thank all of you for your continued support and prayers for me at this time continued problems affecting my Episcopal ministry. As you have probably come to know from the media the investigation into the allegations raised against me there are several contradictions in the evidences collected against me as per the report of the police. It is reported I am likely to be called for further clarifications by the investigating officer in Kerala."

The bishop further wrote that he leaves "everything into the hand of God as I await the result of the findings of the team probing the allegation."

"In my absence Msgr. Mathew Kokkandam will administer the Diocese as is the normal practice when I am away from the Diocese," the letter mentioned.

Also Read: Rape accused Bishop Mulakkal hands over administrative charge to fellow priest

On Friday, Kerala police registered a complaint against the Missionaries of Jesus after the congregation flouted the country’s anti-rape law and released a photograph of the nun seated with her alleged tormentor.

Also Read: Case against Missonaries of Jesus for releasing nun's photograph

The congregation put out the photograph in a release issued to the media to publish the findings of its enquiry commission, which looked into the nun's allegations, however, cautioned them against publishing the photograph, saying it cannot be held responsible if the press violates the rule.