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Kerala Nun Rape Case: Missionaries of Jesus Releases Picture of Rape Survivor With Bishop, Booked

The photograph, according to Missionaries of Jesus, was taken a day after the first time the nun was allegedly raped. They say the fact that the nun can be seen sitting in the company of the bishop was proof that she had not been raped the day before.

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Updated:September 14, 2018, 9:04 PM IST
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Kerala Nun Rape Case: Missionaries of Jesus Releases Picture of Rape Survivor With Bishop, Booked
Nuns protest against the delay in action against a bishop who is accused of sexually exploiting a nun, in Kochi on September 11, 2018. (PTI Photo)
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New Delhi: In an attempt to discredit her version, Missionaries of Jesus on Friday released a picture of the Kerala nun sitting next to Jalandhar diocese Bishop Franco Mulakkal, whom she has accused of raping her on multiple occasions.

The picture dated May 23, 2015, shows the two in question sitting together at a private function. It also released a statement saying that the picture is just for the evidence and the congregation would not be responsible if the picture becomes public, reported News Minute.

According to law, publishing the identity of a rape victim is an offence by itself. It is punishable with imprisonment and a fine imposed by the court.

Later in the day, Kerala police registered a case against the Missionaries of Jesus congregation for publishing the complainant's photo.

The photograph, according to Missionaries of Jesus, was taken a day after the first time the nun was allegedly raped. They say the fact that the nun can be seen sitting in the company of the bishop was proof that she had not been raped the day before.

“The Missionaries of Jesus has understood that the allegations about the Bishop repeatedly raping the nun multiple times between 2014 and 2016 is false and is part of a conspiracy. In the month of May in 2015, the sister had invited the Bishop for a function and even after that, it has been found that the sister has taken part in a lot of functions with the Bishop. Any woman, who was raped by a man, would never attend functions or travel with that man. This is a truth that cannot be denied,” read a statement from the congregation.

The nun at the centre of the controversy, in her petition to the Vatican representative in India, alleged that Franco Mulakkal was using “political and money power” to bury the case, and sought his removal from the post.

She further alleged that she was not the only victim and that there were many others.

“There are many sisters and women who are suffering silently without having the capacity to resist sexual abuse from people from whom they expect respect and care. I feel this kind of silence on the part of the Church authorities and protection of those who commit the crime may create a situation where the Church loses its credibility before society. It will have a very adverse effect on women in the Indian Church that they have no other option than to react in a manner that safeguards their dignity as human persons even at the cost of losing their catholic faith,” she wrote.

The accused Bishop, however, in an interview to CNN-News18 said that the whole episode was a conspiracy to defame the Church. “This is a tactic to pressurise the government. This is a conspiracy by those groups who have been against the Church since the beginning,” said Bishop Franco Mulakkal.
| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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