Thiruvananthapuram: A senior nun has filed a police complaint in Kerala against the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, Punjab for allegedly sexually abusing her 13 times since 2014.
It is also alleged that the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church ignored the complaint against Bishop Franco Mulakkal and acted in a “surreptitious” manner when it was brought to the notice of its hierarchy.
Meanwhile, the police have also registered a case against the nun and her relatives on a complaint from the Bishop.
According to the police, they received the Bishop’s complaint first and the nun filed her complaint a day later. “We have received both the complaints. First, we received the complaint from the Bishop and then the complaint from the nun reached us. We have registered FIRs in both cases. The Vaikom deputy SP has been entrusted with the inquiry," Kottayam police chief Harishankar told News18.
As per the nun’s complaint, Bishop Mulakkal allegedly raped her at a guest house in Kuravilangad in Kottayam district in May 2014 and later sexually exploited her on 12 occasions. The nun was working in an institution which functions under the diocese in Punjab headed by the 54-year-old Bishop who also has penned a book titled ‘A theological investigation into the moral teachings of Guru Nànak from a Catholic perspective’.
The incident came to light when the nun lodged a complaint before the district police chief a couple of days ago. According to sources close to the nun, she had earlier complained about the incident to Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, the then head of the Kerala-based church. However, she was forced to move a police complaint after the Church reportedly took no action on her complaint.
"I have nothing more to say, will proceed with the legal action against the Bishop, " the nun, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told the media.
Bishop Mulakkal has filed a complaint against the nun with Kottayam police chief, alleging that she was blackmailing him after he initiated disciplinary action against her, including transferring her from the present institution. Refusing to obey the orders, she was raising baseless allegations, the Bishop said in his complaint.
Bishop Mullakkal alleged that the nun’s family members, too, had threatened to entrap him in a rape case if he did not withdraw his order.
(An earlier version of this report incorrectly said the nun was sexually abused 14 times. The error is regretted)