Nun rape case: Priest who testified against Bishop Franco found dead

Police probe after key witness in India nun rape case found dead

SP Harishankar, who is investigating the rape case, confirmed to TNM that Father Kuriakose was a prosecution witness against Bishop Franco in the case.

Kerala priest Kuriakose Kattuthara, who had reportedly testified against rape accused former Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mullakal, was found dead on Monday under the mysterious circumstances at St. Mary's Church in Dasuya in Jalandhar. His house and vehicle were attacked with stones and damaged by a mob once. Another time, Bishop Franco Mulakkal had visited his church and spoken against him to his parishioners.

Kattuthara's family has filed a complaint with police in Alappuzha, Kerala, to seek an inquiry into the death, according to ANI.

A large number of people, including supporters and Independent MLA P C George, had greeted the 54-year-old clergyman as he came out of the sub-jail at Pala last week, 25 days after he was arrested.

"The sisters had approached me complaining about Bishop Franco", he had said in the interview.

Sister Anupama, who had led the protests in Kerala against Mulakkal, told The News Minute: "He was a crucial witness in our case as he had given statements against Bishop Franco to the police".

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On October 15, the Kerala High Court had granted conditional bail to Roman Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal, arrested over allegations of repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting a nun.

A few versions emerging from the church had claimed that Fr. Kuriakose was a heart patient, but the couple denied this.

His brother Johny Kattuthara said he suspected foul play in the incident and demanded a probe into it. The exact cause of death is yet to be found. "In fact, I fear what will happen to me for speaking out against him".

Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, 60, was found dead on Monday morning in his room at St Paul's Church in Dasuya town.

"It was found that he vomited over the bed". He added that it was the church officials who had rushed the priest to the hospital, where he was declared brought dead.

His brother Jose Kuriakose in his letter to the CM, has requested the state to intervene in the issue and take necessary legal action through the appropriate authorities in Jalandhar.

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