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KOCHI: With the police arresting Bishop Franco on Friday, the protest launched by Save Our Sisters (SOS) Action Council will continue till the victim gets justice by the punishment of the accused, said the protesters.
When the news of the arrest first started to trickle in, the venue, where the protest by the nuns entered the 14th day on Friday, was filled with joy. However, it soon gave way to disappointment when there was a lack of confirmation on the arrest.
“The protest has been completely supported by each and every common man, who has been supporting our protest from day one. Everything has been scripted and stage-managed by the police. We are still worried about the future of the nuns who have been at the forefront of the protest from September 8.
The council will decide on the future mode of protests, which will take place in the coming days. The government is not taking the necessary steps. Even the opposition has not extended their strong support,” said Stephen Mathew, member of Joint Cristian Council (JCC), who has been on an indefinite hunger strike for the past fourteen days.
“Just a mere arrest is not sufficient. Justice will be served only once the accused is punished as per the law. There should not be another Franco. No women should undergo the fate of the victim. We sit here representing not only the victim, but the entire women facing such issues in the society,” said Sr Alfi .
Sr Imalda, who has been supporting the protest by the nuns from the start, termed Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s comments as shameful. “A man occupying such a position should not have made such comments,” she added.
Protests to go on
The SOS Action Council has decided to continue the protest in the days to come in different ways till justice is served to the nun. “With the arrest, only one stage is completed. We will continue with the protest till the justice is served,” said Fr Augustine Vattoly, Convener, SOS Action Council.
Ensure there’s no loophole: VS
T’Puram: The investigation team in the nun rape case and the prosecution should ensure the accused doesn’t escape using legal loopholes, said Administrative Reforms Commission chairman and CPM veteran V S Achuthanandan. In a statement issued here on Friday, Achuthanandan said the protest by the nuns have become successful. “With the arrest of the Bishop, the nuns should hopefully conclude their protest. Now the probe team and the prosecution should ensure that there are no legal loopholes,” he said.
P C George accuses police of falsifying evidence
Kottayam: Kerala Janapaksham party leader P C George on Friday alleged the nun was a liar and presented some ‘proof’ to support his claims. He also accused the police of forcing one of the witnesses to fabricate his statement. According to George, the photographer who had taken the photos during the bishop’s visit to the Missionaries of Jesus convent in Kuravilangad was asked by the police to say the nun in the pictures taken by him was someone else. “He was made to state the nun who was in the picture is not the one who has accused the bishop of raping her,” he said. George alleged the police are trumping up the evidence against the bishop. As for the notice sent by the National Women’s Commission, George said, “I respect the commission and sent a reply to them. They have called me to Delhi, but since the date coincides with my agitation against Sarfaesi act I will be sending a lawyer in my stead.
Kodiyeri attacks nuns’ protest again
T’Puram: After criticizing the nuns’ agitation against Bishop Franco as ‘ill-motivated’, CPM state chief Kodiyeri Balakrishnan again came out against the protest. Kodiyeri alleged that there are attempts to turn the nuns’ strike into an anti-government agitation. In an article in party mouthpiece ‘Desabhimani’, Kodiyeri said there are moves to create political hatred against the CPM and the LDF government in the name of the nuns’ strike. Rejecting Kodiyeri’s allegations against the nuns’ strike, senior CPM leader and industries minister EP Jayarajan said the government always stands with the victim. Asked about Kodiyeri’s stance, Jayarajan said: “You should ask him about it. The government stands with the victim. There will be action to bring the culprits before the law.”
Kodiyeri flayed over anti-nun comments
Kasargod: Political statements to discredit the protest by nuns is highly condemnable, said human rights and social activist Shabnam Hashmi.She was reacting to CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s statement calling the protest - demanding justice for a nun who was sexually assaulted allegedly by a bishop -- a political campaign against the Marxists. Hashmi said political parties in the country are steeped in patriarchy and the comments reflected this. Kodiyeri, who vowed to bring the accused before justice if the police probe found hard evidence against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, had claimed the protest by the nuns of Missionaries of Jesus had ulterior motives and the CPM’s enemies are behind the campaign.