Jalandhar Bishop Accused of Raping Kerala Nun Alleges Conspiracy

Facing much criticism for delaying the arrest of bishop, police are likely to summon him for questioning in Kerala.

George Joseph, the president of the Joint Christian Council, one of the groups organising the protests, accused senior politicians and church leaders of interfering in the case.

Making a fervent plea for urgent intervention, the nun in a scathing letter also sought to explain her silence before coming out against the bishop and said she had "tremendous fear and shame" and wondered why the church was "closing its eyes towards the truth". The statement also questioned why the nun did not approach police when she was first raped. "We will not end the protest until action against the bishop is taken". The nuns, however, denied the charge against them, saying they were fighting for justice. Moreover, he had also filed complaints against the nun and their families that he was threatened by them.

"During the course of investigation so far and the available evidences, it is revealed that the accused bishop committed unnatural offence and committed rape repeatedly, on different dates from May 05, 2014 to September 09, 2016, against the will and consent of her [the nun] by abusing his dominance over her as bishop of Jalandhar", the affidavit submitted before the court read. Church and police both let us down.

As the nun shot off the lengthy letter to Giambattista Diquattro, the Vatican representative in India, the "Missionaries of Jesus", a congregation to which she belongs, came out against her and five other nuns, who are staging a protest seeking justice, accusing them of "spreading blatant lies" against the Bishop.

The Missionaries of Jesus congregation Tuesday said it was planning to implead itself in the Kerala High Court which is hearing a related matter. "If a nun loses her virginity, she can not be treated as a nun", News18 reported.

Protest organisers say they are up against the might and clout of the Church but they will not back down in the face of intimidation. On Monday, the Kerala High Court asked the state government to inform it of the steps taken by the special investigation team. Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kottayam, K Subhash had earlier on August 13 informed the High Court that the investigation is going on effectively and in an impartial manner.

Lashing out at Kerala MLA PC George for using "abusive language" against an alleged rape victim, NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma Sunday said such incidents are shameful.

In a statement, the congregation questioned the character of the nun and alleged she had illicit relationship with one of her relatives.

Vanessa Coleman

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