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Kerala nun rape: Congregation booked for revealing victim’s identity, photo

Missionaries of Jesus congregation had released a photograph of the victim sitting with the bishop at a private and debunked the sexual assault allegation.

india Updated: Sep 14, 2018 21:38 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala,nun,rape
The nun had accused the clergyman of raping her 13 times between 2014 and 2016, a charge refuted by the bishop, who said he was implicated for taking action against her. (AFP File Photo)

The Kerala police have registered a case against Missionaries of Jesus congregation for revealing the identity and photo of the nun who accused Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mullakkal of raping her.

The case was registered by the Kuravilangadu police station in Kottayam district on the complaint filed by the alleged victim’s brother, officials said.

Earlier the Jalandhar-based congregation had released a photograph of the victim sitting with the bishop at a private function in Kerala on May 23, 2015, a day after the first incident of alleged rape, and debunked the sexual assault allegation.

Indian law prohibits revealing the identity of a rape or sexual assault victim who has filed a case under section 376 (rape). The apex court had recently directed its strict compliance.

The congregation, which had released the photograph to the media, however, cautioned against publishing the photograph, saying it cannot be held responsible if the press violated the rule.

It had accused the victim, her five fellow nuns and four others of conspiring against the bishop.

The congregation’s action invited the ire of Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar, who said it was “clearly illegal”.

Catholic reform groups staging a protest at Kochi for the last several days seeking justice for the nun also slammed the congregation and said they would initiate legal action.

The nun had recently sought urgent intervention of the Vatican for justice and demanded the bishop’s removal as the head of the Jalandhar diocese, alleging that bishop Mulakkal was using “political and money power” to “bury” the case against him.

The nun had accused the clergyman of raping her 13 times between 2014 and 2016, a charge refuted by the bishop, who said he was implicated for taking action against her.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Sep 14, 2018 21:37 IST