Father Kuriakose, who testified against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, found dead in church room in Punjab

He had alleged that he was constantly threatened by church officials for supporting the nun, who had alleged that she was raped by the bishop.

Updated - November 28, 2021 08:55 am IST

Published - October 22, 2018 01:34 pm IST - Chandigarh/Alappuzha

Nuns stage a protest seeking the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal in Kochi. File

Nuns stage a protest seeking the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal in Kochi. File

Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, a Catholic priest, was found dead at a church in Hoshiarpur’s Dasuya on Monday.

Fr. Kuriakose had deposed before the Kerala police against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, the head of the Latin diocese of Jalandhar, accused of raping a nun. The relatives have lodged a complaint with the Alappuzha police demanding a probe into the ‘mysterious sudden death.’

Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, who was found dead on Monday.

Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, who was found dead on Monday.

Priest’s brother seeks probe

Jose Kurian, younger brother of Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, the witness in the nun rape case who was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Hoshiarpur on Monday, has petitioned Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking a through investigation into the death.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal, the head of the Latin diocese of Jalandhar, was arrested on September 21 in the rape case registered by the Kuravilangad police in Kottayam district. He was granted bail by the Kerala High Court on October 15 on stringent conditions.

The nun had alleged that she was raped by the bishop from May 5, 2014 to May 6, 2016 on 14 occasions in a room attached to the St. Francis Mission Home, Kuruvilangad.

‘Faced hooliganism’

Mr. Kurian in his petition to the Chief Minister said: “Everybody knows my brother had given statements under section 161 of the Cr.PC to the investigation team probing the nun rape case. During the course of the investigation, my brother was repeatedly threatened by persons close to bishop Mulakkal. They damaged a car and threw stones at his house in Jalandhar. Three days ago, I talked to my brother and he told me that he was facing threats and hooliganism from the associates of the bishop. He even feared for his life. Our family have strong suspicions regarding the mysterious sudden death of my brother. We urge the Chief Minister to intervene in the matter.”

Daljit Singh Khakh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Hoshiarpur said the priest was found unconscious in his room.

Later, he was taken to hospital where he was declared dead.

Bishop Mulakkal was arrested on September 21 on a case registered by the Kuravilangad police in Kottayam district. He was granted bail by the Kerala High Court on October 15 under stringent conditions .

The nun had alleged that she had been raped by the bishop from May 5, 2014 to May 6, 2016 on 14 occasions in a room attached to the St. Francis Mission Home, Kuruvilangad.

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