Delay in chargesheet against Franco in nun rape case sees pressure on witnesses, says Sr Anupama

Delay in chargesheet against Franco in nun rape case sees pressure on witnesses, says Sr Anupama


Nearly six months after the arrest of former bishop of Jalandhar on charges of raping a nun, police is yet to file the chargesheet. Parallely, the delay was putting pressure on all the nuns, witnesses in the case, according to one of them.

Sr Anupama, who created history by leading nuns in a public protest demanding arrest of Franco, told mediapersons on Saturday after she along with the team submitted a memorandum to the Kottayam Superintendent of Police expressing concern over the delay. She said any further delay would mean restarting the agitation.

Mulakkal was arrested in September 21 on charges of raping a nun repeatedly between 2014 and 2016. He was sent to two-week judicial custody on September 24 and later in October released on bail.

There was mounting pressure on the witnesses to change their statements, she said. Transfer orders were also issued though these were later cancelled by the administrator of Jalandhar diocese, appointed by the Pope after Franco had to step down.

Sr Anupama cited the case of Sr Licy Vadkkel, a prime witness in the case, who was not given food or medicines at the convent. “I have taken this up in the complaint," she added.
She alleged that Franco was powerful and his influence was behind the delay in filing the chargesheet. "If there is further delay in the filing of the chargesheet, we will have to restart the protest. We hope such a situation is not created,” she said.

Separately, Sr Lucy Kalappurakkal, the teacher-nun from Wayanad who joined the agitation, has received notice to leave the congregation. She was served two notices, which had flimsy charges of her publishing a book of her poems, buying a car, and finally asked Franciscan Clarist Congregation to submit her explanation or else leave the congregation.

She has been accused of leading a life against the "principles of religious life" and the rules of the congregation. Sr Lucy said she did not propose to leave the congregation as she had “done no wrong”.