Kerala nun rape case: Priest who filed complaint against Franco Mulakkal found dead

Kerala nun rape case witness Father Kuriakose Kattuthara was found dead in St. Mary’s Church in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district

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Kerala nun rape case witness Father Kuriakose Kattuthara was found dead in St. Mary's Church in Punjab's Hoshiarpur district on Monday, October 22. He was said to have been suffering from certain age-related ailments. But some priests have alleged that there was a conspiracy in his death. The exact cause of his death is unknown, but more details will revealed once the post-mortem is conducted.

The Punjab Police said a probe is underway into the 67-year-old bishop's death. "Our team has gone to the spot and is investigating the matter," a Dasuya police official said.

Kattuthara was found dead in a room at the St. Mary's Church complex in Dasuya town. He was under the Jalandhar diocese which was headed by Mulakkal.

Family of father Kuriakose Kattuthara in Cherthala alleged mystery behind his death and demanded a detailed enquiry into his death. Fr Kuriakose's relatives filed a complaint with the Cherthala DySP. Kuriakose's brother Jose Kattuthara stated that his brother had been frequently threatened by church officials for giving his statement against Franco Mulakkal, erstwhile Bishop of the Jalandhar diocese.

In an interview given to Mathrubhumi, Father Kuriakose had said that he was tortured by the Bishop and the Bishop House officials for his stand.

He had been excluded from responsibilities due to some health issues.

ANI had tweeted about the death of Father Kuriakose Kattuthara.

Father Kuriakose had taken a strong stand against Franco Mulakkal and helped the nun who raised allegations against Franco Mulakkal. His relatives said his house and vehicle were damaged by some attackers.

Father Kuriakose had said that many nuns had complained against Franco Mulakkal, who was also a vocational trainer. He had worked with former bishop Symphorian Keeprath, who had established Missionaries of Jesus for nuns under the diocese. He was a native of Pallippuram in Alappuzha.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal was granted conditional bail in the case on October 15 in the nun rape case. The Kerala High Court had at the time of granting his bail ordered the bishop to be present before the investigating officer once in two weeks. The bishop was also asked to surrender his passport to the court and was been forbidden from entering Kerala.

He had received a hero’s welcome when he returned to Jalandhar on October 17, with supporters showering him with rose petals and garlanding him.

(with inputs from agencies)

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