Kerala nun who raised allegations of rape against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, along with four other nuns, have written to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asking him to ensure the nuns are able to live together in the current convent till the trial is over.
"The aim of the present transfer is to threaten and pressurize the nuns, who are witnesses in the case, and very vulnerable", the nun wrote to the chief minister.
"I am living in the convent only with the help of the sisters, who are helping me and giving me emotional support. Their presence is a solace to me," she added.
The letter speaks of the alleged connivance of congregation authorities with the Bishop - who according to the her is "very powerful and wants to sabotage the case".
"I am in a broken situation and cut a sorry figure before the congregation and the public, due to the inhuman acts of the Bishop and his team," the complainant nun added.
The letter comes days after four nuns received reminder notices from their congregation authorities to 'obey' the transfer orders given to them in March 2018 - to different places.
"The nun had started complaining to the church authorities in 2017. It was just months after that, in 2018, that we were served the transfer orders. We didn't obey it because we had to support our sister. Someone has to support her. Church authorities have been closing their eyes to our appeal for justice from the beginning", one of the protesting nuns had told NDTV.
The nuns suspect that if the four nuns move out - the congregation will put pressure on the nun who accused the Bishop and she will be left alone in the Kerala convent. They allege that they will meet the same fate, as a witness priest, who was found dead in Punjab.
The Jalandhar diocese of the catholic church - of which Francko Mulakkal is the Bishop- has distanced themselves from the transfer order saying, "it is the independent decision of Missionaries of Jesus Congregation. They come under Jalandhar Diocese but take their own decisions".
"The allegations against the congregation and the Bishop, is baseless and concocted. Truth will be out, we will obey the law of the land. I still don't believe that a woman can be raped 13 times in the same location," Jalandhar Diocese Public Relations Officer had told NDTV.
Bishop Mulakkal is accused of raping a nun on 14 occasions from May 5, 2014, to May 6, 2016, at the St Francis Mission Home in Kuruvilangad. Father Kuriakose Kattuthara -- their colleague -- was found dead at a church in Hoshiarpur's Dasuya in October last year, months after he deposed against the bishop in the rape case.
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