- Nun claimed that she was sexually abused 13 times in two years
- PC George questioned the character of the nun, called her - a prostitute
- Her family plans to take legal action against the minister
Even as the Kerala police failed to make any progress in the rape case Jaladhar Bishop Franco Mullackal, an independent lawmaker waded into a controversy over his derogatory statements on the rape survivor.
In an interaction with media, PC George questioned the character of the nun and called her - a prostitute.
"Is there any doubt that the nun is a prostitute? 12 times it was pleasure, 13th time it became a rape? Where was she when it happened 12 times? Whom is she telling this to? Why did she not complain on the first time it happened?... Let the three sisters be examined. Let us see if they are holy," said the lawmaker from Poonjar, while speaking on the charges against Bishop Mullackal.
In her complaint filed, the 46-year-old nun alleged that she was sexually abused 13 times between 2014 and 2016.
While NDTV has not been able to access the original unedited footage, the edited versions from the press conference, clearly showed the MLA make these abusive remarks.
The nun's family said they would initiate legal action against Mr George for hurting her sentiments.
National Commission for Women (NCW) chief Rekha Sharma demanded strict action against the lawmaker. "I am ashamed of such lawmakers who are giving these statements instead of helping women. This is absolutely shameful. The NCW has already taken up the matter and we will write to DGP demanding strict action against him," she said.
They said that the nun was hurt by George's abusive charges against her. She was supposed to meet the media for the first time today, they said. "She wanted to meet the media on Sunday, a day after the protests by the nuns and other supporters. But after this comment, she just locked herself in the room and refused to tale calls or meet anyone for hours. She was very upset", a family member told NDTV.
This is not the first time that PC George has made callous comments on gender sensitive issues. The lawmaker faced backlash in August 2017 when he continued to make insensitive remarks against an actress who was abducted and sexually assaulted in a car in Kochi in February that year.
On Saturday, members of various Catholic reformation organisations took to the streets to protest the alleged laxity in the probe against the bishop.
The nuns who live along with the complainant in the same hostel also joined the protest and extended their support to her for the first time.
"We want action against the Bishop. He should be asked to step down from his position, by the church. He should be arrested," advocate Indulekha, who participated in the protest, told NDTV.
"Seventy-four days have passed since the complaint was made against Bishop Franco. The police recorded her statements several times. But the accused bishop was interrogated only once," said a nun who participated in the protest.
The nuns alleged that police probing the case were trying to sabotage the investigation.
The Kerala police questioned Bishop Mullackal last month, but said the case needs more probing as there is contradiction in the statements.
(with additional inputs from PTI)