Kerala nuns oppose Crime Branch probe into bishop abuse case

Kochi, September 9 (IANS) A group of Catholic nuns on Sunday opposed a Crime Branch probe into a case where a bishop allegedly sexually abused a nun.

 

“We have heard that a Crime Branch probe is being planned. This is only meant to delay the proceedings. We are happy with the present police probe. The higher officials do not want us to get justice,” a group member told the media.

 

On Saturday, the nuns attached to a Catholic convent near Kottayam to which the alleged victim also belonged, started an indefinite fast programme organised by the Joint Christian Council here to pressurise the state government to act against the accused, Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Jalandhar.

 

The protest was called due to the fact that since the case was registered 75 days ago, the police have taken 12 statements from the victim while only one from the accused bishop.

 

Meanwhile, Kerala Police Chief Loknath Behra has dismissed claims of a Crime Branch probe.

 

“I am yet to review the case as it is being handled by the Inspector General (IG) of Police. The IG is happy with the progress in the investigation,” Behra told the media on Sunday.

 

Sources closed to the victim said that a press conference which she was slated to address has been cancelled and will now directly approach the Kerala High Court seeking justice.

 

In June, the victim alleged that Mulakkal sexually abused her several times between 2014 to 2016.

 

An FIR was registered against the bishop and a 114-page detailed statement was taken from the nun and other inmates of the convent.

 

However, Mulakkal has denied any wrongdoing.