Public support for nuns’ protest grows

They demand justice for nun who accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal of raping her

Published - September 13, 2018 08:50 am IST - Kochi

Kochi, Kerala, 12/09/2018: Actor Rima Kallingal at the ongoing agitation of the catholic nuns at Vanchi square near the High Court in solidarity with their demand for the arrest of rape accused bishop Franco Mulakkal on Wednesday. The actor was there as a representative of the Women In Cinema Collective, a forum of women artistes in Malayalam cinema. Photo : Thulasi Kakkat.

Kochi, Kerala, 12/09/2018: Actor Rima Kallingal at the ongoing agitation of the catholic nuns at Vanchi square near the High Court in solidarity with their demand for the arrest of rape accused bishop Franco Mulakkal on Wednesday. The actor was there as a representative of the Women In Cinema Collective, a forum of women artistes in Malayalam cinema. Photo : Thulasi Kakkat.

Support continued to pour in on Wednesday for the protest at Vanchi Square at High Court Junction here where five Catholic nuns are on a sit-in under the Save Our Sisters (SOS) Action Council since Saturday demanding justice to a nun who had accused Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal of raping her.

Among those who arrived at Vanchi Square in solidarity with the nuns and to demand the arrest of the bishop were Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president M.M. Hassan, Bharatiya Janata Party State general secretaries A.N. Radhakrishnan and Sobha Surendran, All India Congress Committee member Deepthi Mary Varghese, Revolutionary Marxist Party leader K.K. Rema, poet Kalpetta Narayanan, writer P.F. Mathews, M.V. Benny and Sunil P. Ilayidom and film couple Aashique Abu and Rima Kallingal.

Singer Shahbaz Aman sang an old Christian devotional song.

Critic Sunil P. Ilayidom said Kerala had shown an amazing example of brotherhood and camaraderie during the floods to save and support the flood-hit. “I hope society will show the same in this issue as well,” he said.

Fight to continue

Sr. Anupama, one of the nuns who is part of the Missionaries of Jesus on protest, told The Hindu that they would continue to fight till justice was delivered to the survivor.

“The bishop seems to be using his political connections and money power. That’s why he remains untouched by the police. If it was an ordinary citizen, he would be already behind bars,” she said.

Inaction questioned

CPI(M) leader M.M. Lawrence questioned the police for inaction in the case.

“I heard the police have summoned him here for questioning. But what were the DGP and his team doing until now? Isn’t he the State’s DGP and responsible for the overall safety of all the people in the State? It shouldn’t be the way it is,” Mr. Lawrence said at Vanchi Square.

Making it clear that he was not at the venue as a representative of his party, Mr. Lawrence said the accused was now attempting to portray the nuns’ agitation and the demand for his arrest as a protest against the Church.

“This is a deft ploy to win over the support of blind believers,” he said, declaring his solidarity with the complainant. He also sought to defend his party, which is leading the ruling coalition, saying it had always braved challenges.

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