Indian nuns demand arrest of bishop accused of rape

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No one is above the law and there is no need for any apprehension regarding it, the Kerala High Court said on Monday while hearing a petition seeking immediate arrest of Franco Mulakkal, bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, who is accused of raping a nun in Kerala.

In a scathing letter to the Vatican that was made available to the media Tuesday, the nun also asked will the Church be able to give back what she has lost. However, George has also asked to cross-examine the three other nuns who have the same allegations against the Bishop. As they failed to understand even the seriousness of these words, I could not tell them more than this.

"They are arranging people to attack us, and bishop Franco is using his political power and money to get higher authorities of the investigation and the government to bury legal proceedings that I have filed against him", the nun charged. The protest has been called by the Joint Christian Council.

Joining the dharna organised by various Catholic organisations seeking reformation in the church, the nuns alleged that the victim had been denied justice by the authorities and the Church as no action has been initiated against the accused.

Responding to two pleas, the court asked the police to clarify if the Bishop was questioned and what steps had been taken after the police questioning.

The incident came to light after a case was registered in June against four priests of Malankara Orthodox Church for alleged sexual assault.

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Anapura noted that Mulakkal has been targeting her group since they declared support for his accuser, saying the bishop is "trying to coerce a statement against the survivor from us". The accused had allegedly threatened to disclose the nun's confessions, made in the church, and used it to draw sexual favours.

The National Commission for Women (NCW) has summoned Kerala MLA P C George on September 20 for using abusive language against a nun who has alleged that she was sexually assaulted by a bishop.

A special team probing the case has said that according to preliminary investigations, Bishop Franco abused his position and repeatedly raped the nun and that the bishop could be called in for interrogation this week.

The Missionaries of Jesus sister has also complained of harassment - including multiple death threats - since going public with her complaint against Mulakkal.

For the unversed, the nun has accused Bishop Franco of raping and having unnatural sex with her multiple times between 2014 and 2016. "A very strong investigation is being carried out in the case".

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