Kerala police chief sabotaging probe, will move high court, say angry nuns

September 9, 2018

A day after hitting the streets seeking justice for a nun who was allegedly raped by Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mullakal, the group of agitating nuns on Sunday alleged Kerala director general of police (DGP) Loknath Behra was sabotaging the ongoing inquiry and said they will move the court.

The National Commission for Women (NCW) said it directed the DGP to file a case against law-maker P C George for portraying the victim in bad light by terming her a prostitute.

Support swelled to five nuns of Missionaries of Jesus Congregation as many priests, politicians, activists and a retired judge visited them at dharna site and decried the police inaction. Nuns said they have much hope from the judiciary and will move the high court on Monday. Marxist veteran V S Achuthanandan and Communist Party of India (Marxist) politburo member Brinda Karat also pledged their support.

“We have full faith in the ongoing investigation being carried out by Vaikkom deputy superintendent of police K Subhash. But we suspect DGP Loknath Behra and inspector general of police (IGP) Vijay Sakre are not allowing him to carry out a free and fair investigation,” said sister Anupama, adding 75 days passed since their fellow nun filed the police complaint.

“The investigating team quizzed the victim at least seven times but the accused was questioned only once. It seems higher police authorities are quite frightened to touch the bishop. Nobody is with us and our lives are in danger but we will go to any extent for justice,” she alleged, questioning the silence of church authorities.

Former judge of the High Court Kamal Pasha said the state was witnessing a dirty drama being enacted by police officials and rulers. “It is a shame these nuns were forced to the streets. The DGP says inquiry was in its final stages even after 75 days. If people suspect some omissions and commission they can’t be blamed either,” said Justice Pasha.

Father Paul Thelekkat, editor of church-run magazine Sathyadeepam, and many other priests also called on the nuns.

However DGP Behra denied any move to delay the case or hand over the probe to the crime branch. “At present there is no move to hand over the probe to any other team. I have directed the IG to speed up the inquiry,” he said.

In her complaint, the 43-year-old nun alleged that the bishop had sexually abused after summoning her on the pretext of discussing an important issue in 2014. She said in next two years she was raped 13 times by him. The nun said she made a complaint to the church in last December and forced to file a police complaint in July after it failed to take action against him.

She said after filing a complaint she was removed from the official position and framed many complaints of financial irregularities against her.

Meanwhile the National Commission for Women said it will direct the DGP to book MLA PC George who verbally abused the victim and cast aspersions on her. “It is really shocking such comments came from a law-maker,” said chairperson Rekha Sharma.

Source : Hindustan Times 

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