KOTTAYAM: A sexual harassment allegation raised by a nun against a Catholic bishop has put the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in a tight spot. According to sources, a nun staying in a convent in Kuruvilangad has raised the allegation against Franco Mulakkal, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar.
As per her complaint, Bishop Mulakkal raped her at a guest house in Kuravilangad in May 2014 and later sexually exploited her on several occasions. The nun belonged to an institution that functions under the Jalandhar diocese.
The incident came to light when she lodged a complaint before the Kottayam district police chief Harisankar. According to sources close to the nun, she had earlier complained about the incident to the Church authorities. However, she was forced to move a police complaint after the Church took no action on her complaint.
At the same time, Bishop Mulakkal has also filed a complaint against the nun to Kottayam SP, alleging that nun was blackmailing him after he initiated disciplinary action against her, including transferring her from the present institution. Refusing to obey the orders, she was raising baseless allegations, the Bishop said in his complaint.
Bishop Mullakkal said the nun’s family members too had threatened to entrap him in a rape case if he did not withdraw his order. Police sources said they received the Bishop’s complaint first and the nun filed her complaint a couple of days later. Kottayam SP Harisankar confirmed that he has received both the complaints and said he directed the police officer concerned to look into the allegations.The Vaikom DySP has been entrusted with the inquiry.