Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Nun rape case: Priest who testified against Bishop Franco found dead

Priest found dead According to the police Kattuthara had vomited over the bed and blood pressure tablets were found at the spot
Pablo Mccormick | 24 October, 2018, 01:43

Brother of Kerala nun, who had accused former Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal of rape, on Monday alleged that the sudden death of eyewitness Father Kuriakose Kattuthara is a "pre-planned murder".

Father Kuriakose Kattuthara (62) was found dead in his room at St Mary's Church in Hoshiarpur district of Punjab on Monday.

While the exact cause behind the death is yet to be known, however, family members cried foul play behind the incident.

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Kuriakose Kattuthara had given a statement to the Kerala Police against Mulakkal and had supported the nuns who were demanding the bishop's arrest.

Dasuya DSP AR Sharma said, "He used to live at St. Paul's Church in Dasuya". "Our team has gone to the spot and is investigating the matter", a Dasuya police official said. According to a press note issued by the church, when the church authorities broke open the door Father Kuriakose "was lying down with vomit from the mouth. Investigation is underway. In our notice, no security was provided to him". The court has laid down the conditions that Bishop Mulakkal should not enter Kerala and should surrender his passport before the court. "In his final call to us last week, Father Kuriakose said that if Bishop Franco gets bail, his death would be imminent, and asked us to pray for him", Jose Kattuthara, Fr. Kuriakose's brother recounts.

Sister Anupama, who had led the protests in Kerala against Mulakkal, told The News Minute: "He was a crucial witness in our case as he had given statements against Bishop Franco to the police". The deceased Father Kuriakose was a vocational trainer in Jalandhar.

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He had also said that numerous nuns who had left the church had approached him with complaints against the bishop. He went to jail, only to be given a bail most recently.

A nun from Kerala had accused Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal of repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting her. The court, while granting the conditional bail, had directed the bishop to leave the state within 24 hours of his release from the prison. "This is a conspiracy and several people are taking advantage of the situation, they are putting sisters at the forefront", Franco Mulakkal had said.

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