Kerala priest who backed nun in bishop rape case found dead

Kerala priest who backed nun in bishop rape case found dead

Jalandhar: A priest, who was considered to be the key witness and had given a statement against the main accused in Kerala nun rape case, Bishop Franco Mulakkal, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Jalandhar today, sources said.

Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, who was 67 years old, was found dead on Monday morning. Following Fr. Kuriakose's death, his brother and sister-in-law who suspect foul play in the death tell TNM that Father Kuriakose was attacked once and threatened several times after he testified against the Bishop.

Dasuya DSP AR Sharma said, "He used to live at St. Paul's Church in Dasuya".

Father Kuriakose Kattuthara was found dead in Punjab's Jalandhar.

According to police, no visible injury marks were found on the body. As per initial investigation, it seems he vomited over the bed. Fr Kuriakose had said in an interview given to Mathrubhumi that he was tortured by the Bishop and the Bishop House officials for his stand. Prior to his death, Father Kuriakose had given a statement against Bishop Franco Mulakkal to the Kerala police in the rape case of a nun from Missionaries of Jesus.

The diocese of Jalandhar said in a statement on its web site that Mulakkal had expressed sadness over "the sudden demise" of Kattuthara.

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Fr Kuriakose's death comes exactly a week after Bishop Mulakkal was granted bail by the Kerala High Court in the rape case.

"Earlier he was absolutely well but was in fear since Franco Mulakkal came out on bail".

The nun said she had to approach the police as church authorities did not act on her repeated complaints against the clergyman.

Jose added, "I have filed a complaint with the police, demanding a probe into the case".

A nun from Kerala had accused Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal of repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting her. Father Augustine Vattoli told Firstpost that this was the primary reason why they had opposed Mulakkal being granted bail.

The 54-year-old Bishop, now lodged in a sub-jail in Pala in Kottayam district, moved the high court again after a magistrate court extended his judicial remand. He was released from a sub-jail near Kottayam on 17 October, a day after the Kerala High Court granted him bail.

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