The protest by the nuns and the laity under the banner of the Kerala Church Reformation Movement for the arrest of Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal continued for the second day in Kochi on Sunday, gathering good response from different quarters.
Veteran CPM leader VS Achuthanandan extended support to the agitation by the nuns. Among those who came to venue to express solidarity included Kerala High Court former judge Kemal Pasha, senior priest Paul Thelakkat and Congress leader and legislator PT Thomas.
The police has expanded the probe team in the wake of charges that the authorities was going slow and proposed handing over the case to Crime Branch.
All doors appeared to have been closed, forcing the nuns to come out in the open, Achuthanandan said in a statement. Immediate action would have to be taken against the bishop or else people would lose faith in the system, he feared. Achuthanandan also objected to the frequent questioning of the nun which was mentally torturing her.
Pasha in his address at the protest venue called for arrest of the bishop. He suspected foul play in the delay of the arrest and felt that the bishop's not seeking even anticipatory bail
The appearance of Fr Paul Thelakkat, a former spokesperson of the Strong Malabar Church, should rattle the Church. He said the silence of the Church, the Government and the general public when the nuns were protesting was disturbing he said. This saddened him, he added.
Relatives of the nun expressed unhappiness over the delay in arresting the bishop. They felt that with the government failing to act, they would be forced to move the court seeking justice.
The five nuns who came from Kuruvilangad by afternoon and would go back in the evening to return tomorrow. The hundreds who gathered at the venue said the struggle would continue till the arrest of
Separately, the police, which has been targeted for going slow in taking action today expanded the probe team headed by Vaikom DySP Subash. He would be assisted by two Circle Inspectors and a Sub-Inspector. The Inspector General is expected to meet the team at Kottayam soon. The team has been asked to submit a report in a fortnight.