A nun,one of the key witness in the sexual assault filed a case against former Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal. She complained that she was illegally confined and tortured for deposing against him. The Kerala police on Tuesday registered a case against a convent in Muvattupuzha (Ernakulam) after recieving the complaint.
Reason behind the complaint-
The latest complaint surfaced after the nun’s brother lodged a missing person’s report with the police saying his sister Lisy Vadakkayil was untraceable for over two months. After preliminary investigation, police traced her to FCC Convent in Muvattupuzha.
She later told the police that she was transferred to a convent in Vijayawada and was confined in a room for more than a month.
She said when she became ill she was allowed to go to the convent in Muvattupuzha where she was not allowed to interact with her relatives and others. Sister Lisy is one among the first to turn against bishop Mulakkal and is also a key witness in the case.
In her complaint, she said she was tortured at the convent In Vijayawada and forced to retract her statement in the Franco case. When her mother fell ill she was allowed to visit her only with some officials of the convent. She said the convent authorities threatened to brand her insane and get her admitted to a mental asylum if she continues to go against the bishop.
The nun was later produced before a local court and allowed to go with her brother. Legal experts says such vindictive actions by church authorities towards witnesses aimed at sabotaging the probe may go against the accused bishop during the trial.
The prosecution said they will examine the latest development and explore possibilities to cancel the bail granted to the deposed bishop. Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, who was another witness in the case, was found dead in Jalandhar under mysterious circumstances last year.
Facts of the case-
Last June, A 43-year-old nun, also a mother superior, filed a complaint to the police that Mulakkal had raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. When police failed to arrest him, five nuns staged a sit-in protest in Kochi. Later, a special investigation team (SIT) was floated and he was arrested in September.
After spending three weeks in judicial custody, Mulakkal later secured bail. There were many attempts to intimidate and transfer the five nuns who stood with the victim firmly. The victim and the five nuns are now confined at their convent in Kuravilangad in Kottayam.