Bishop Muricken visits Franco in jail

Visit a clear message to all stakeholders

Published - September 25, 2018 07:15 pm IST - KOTTAYAM

On a day the police spread out their net further in the case pertaining to the rape of a nun by Bishop Franco Mulakkal, former bishop of the Catholic diocese of Jalandhar, the bishop who is presently incarcerated at the Pala sub jail had high profile visitors at the jail.

According to Fr. Jose Kakkallil, chancellor of the Catholic diocese of Pala, Rev. Jacob Muricken, auxiliary bishop of Pala, paid a visit to Franco Mulakkal in the jail. “It was just a normal procedure and there is nothing more to it,” said Fr. Kakkalil. Bishop Muricken was accompanied by Fr. Mathew Chandrankunnel.

Bishop Muricken, who arrived at the jail by noon, completed all formalities before speaking to Franco Mulakkal. “The visit lasted only a few minutes,” Fr. Kakkallil said.

Meanwhile, insiders maintained that the visit by Bishop Muricken was a clear message to all stakeholders. It is not only a message to those who are on the war path as to where the Church stood in the case, but also a message to the accused that he has not been abandoned by the Church. It was also a pointer to the public at large.

“The very decision for a bishop to pay a visit to a jailed person is an important step; it is all the more important when a person such as Bishop Muricken, whose moral standing is considered very high in the Church, takes out this responsibility,” they pointed out.

P.C. George, MLA, also paid a visits to Franco Mulakkal in jail on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) served notice on Sr. Amala, public relations officer of the Missionaries of Jesus, in the case pertaining to the publication of a photograph of the survivor. The photo was mailed to mediapersons with the directive that the face of the nun should be edited if published.

In another development, the survivor made a formal complaint to the Kottayam district police chief against Mr. George for the shaming comments he had made against her at a press conference. The complaint has been handed over to K. Subhash, Dy.SP, Vaikom.

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