Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 11: Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who is accused of repeatedly raping a Kerala nun, "is on the run", claimed reports on Monday. Demanding his arrest, protests have intensified in parts of Kerala.
Nuns associated with the Kottayam Catholic Convent staged a demonstration in Kochi, demanding the immediate arrest of the rape-accused bishop. A group of nuns in Kuravilangad, where the victim is based, launched an indefinite hunger strike seeking justice.
Bishop Mullakal, who is an Indian prelate of the Catholic Church, has been accused by the 44-year-old nun of raping her 13 times between 2014 to 2016. She had filed the FIR on June 27, days after complaining before the Church authorities.
Mullakal, however, has denied the charges calling it a conspiracy. On June 21, six days before the FIR was filed against him, he had submitted a written complaint before the Kerala police, claiming that six nuns, including the victim, are conspiring to malign his image.
Mullakal was last raced in Jalandhar on August 14, when a team of Kerala police had approached him for questioning in the case. The 54-year-old had denied the rape charge, counter-alleging that the nun is framing him as she was recently transferred on administrative grounds.
The Missionaries of Jesus has come out in support of Mulakkal, calling him an "innocent soul" being targeted by external forces. "We strongly condemn the protest in Kochi. We cannot crucify an innocent soul (Bishop) based on such allegations. The allegations are totally baseless. We doubt the nuns are forced into this protest by external influence," said the statement issued by the body.