Kerala nuns who pledged support for rape victim seek CM’s intervention

In their letter, the nuns stated that the Bishop is very powerful and can sabotage the case

Prime News, Nation, (Thiruvananthapuram), January 19:-Sister Anupama along with three other nuns who had pledged support for the nun allegedly raped by Bishop Franco Mulakkal, have penned down a letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking his intervention in the matter.

In their letter, the nuns stated that the Bishop is very powerful and can sabotage the case.

“We and Sr Neena Rose who is also an inmate in the house are facing imminent threats from the de-facto complainant’s side, in connivance with the authorities of our own congregation for supporting and helping the victim in the above crime. We think it is our duty to support and ‘to be with’ the victim of rape, who is our colleague/a sister. The recent developments show that we are not safe in any aspects considering the power, influence and the past activities of the other side. Needless to say, the accused Bishop Franco is very powerful in all aspects. His aim is to sabotage the case and to escape somehow, from the crime he had committed and to go scot-free,” the letter read.

On the issue of transfer, the nuns said: “A few days ago, we received transfer orders from the Superior of the Congregation, Sr Regina, who is always dancing to the tune orchestrated by Bishop Franco–the accused. As per the orders Sr Anupama is transferred to Punjab, Sr Josephine to Jharkhand, Sr Alphy to Bihar and Sr Aneitta to Kannur. The victim in the above-referred crime is actually living at the strength and support being extended from our side. Our presence itself is a great solace for her, who is totally in a broken situation. Bishop Franco is supported by some of the church authorities and his henchmen.”

“They are making false propagations and character assassination against us. The aim of the present transfer is to pressurise and threaten us as we all are prominent witnesses in the case. They want to split all of us and put into different locations in India. We will not be able to appear and give evidence before the court at the trial stage in such situations. Our fate itself is unpredictable if we are transferred to distant regions. The memories of Fr Kuriakose Kattutlatra make us scared. The transfer order is a strategy to put all of us under pressure. If the transfer is affected we will not be in a position to give evidence in the case daringly. We will not be allowed to live peacefully and we would be emotionally and mentally collapsed. Our life itself would be in danger and risk,” the nuns further stated in the letter.

“Nowadays the local authority Sr Anit Koovaloor the superior of the house where we are residing not providing us even for the minimum requirements for the subsistence including for our treatments. We have nowhere to go and no income also. If my fellow nuns are sent out of Kerala that would definitely affect the prosecution and a fair trial would not be possible and justice will not be delivered. Their aim is to ‘single out me’ and to harass and torture her. Their aim is to place us into unbearable situations and thereby to put into fear and anxiety in order to settle the case ‘as they wish’ for which we are not amenable. We admit that we are not strong enough or capable to fight with the mighty power of the institution and Bishop Franco,” the letter read.

In his concluding statement, the nuns stated, “We humbly request your good self to interfere in the matter and to ensure that all us could live in St Francis Mission Home, Kuravilangad itself, till the trial of the case is over, especially considering our safety. I am once again praying for the justice for myself and my fellow sisters, in the above-explained circumstances.”

Bishop Mulakkal has been accused of raping and forcing unnatural sex on the nun multiple times between 2014 and 2016.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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