The brother of the Kerala nun who has accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal of repeatedly raping her has strongly objected to the way the senior Catholic priest was showered with rose petals and garlanded by his supporters on his return to Jalandhar after the Kerala High Court granted him conditional bail earlier this week.
He said the Bishop should "ashamed of himself" for the kind of reception he was accorded yesterday as he is a "religious figure".
"Court granted him bail, but he is not innocent," the brother of the nun said. "He should be ashamed of himself. He seems to be unapologetic," he told news agency ANI.
Bishop Mulakkal was seen smiling as his followers threw rose petals on him yesterday. Mulakkal, 54, was arrested after three days of questioning and amid protests over the sexual assault allegations by the nun last month. Mr Mulakkal was granted conditional bail by the Kerala High Court after he spent three weeks in a jail near Kottayam.
"The prayers of the people of Punjab supported me. I believe that they will pray for me even in the days to come. I thank everyone. Investigation is underway and I am co-operating. I'm a law abiding citizen and I trust the legal system of the country," the Bishop told reporters in Jalandhar.
In her complaint in June, the nun had alleged that she was sexually abused by Franco Mulakkal 13 times between 2014 and 2016 during his visits to a convent in Kottayam. The nun had said she approached the police as church authorities did not act on her repeated complaints against the clergyman. However, the bishop has denied the charges.
Mulakkal was divested of his pastoral responsibilities as the bishop of the Jalandhar diocese of the Missionaries of Jesus by the Vatican.
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