Kerala Nun Rape Case: Key Witness Accuses Seniors Of Pressurising Her To Change Statement Against Franco Mulakkal

Kerala Nun Rape Case: Key Witness Accuses Seniors Of Pressurising Her To Change Statement Against Franco MulakkalNuns protesting to call for the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal in Kochi, Kerala. (Photo by Vivek Nair/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Prime witness in a Kerala nun rape case, Sister Lissy Vadakkel has said that she is being pressurised by her superiors to change her statement in the case against accused Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, reports The News Minute.

Sister Lissy said her superiors were constantly putting pressure on her to change the statement she gave to the police against Mulakkal, who is accused of raping a Kerala nun multiple times. She had, earlier, been ostracised and faced disciplinary actions by the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) for speaking up in the matter.

The pretrial proceedings in the case, including framing of charges of the accused, have been adjourned by the court until 6 January.

"I feel greatly insecure. The Bishop's bail was recently extended by the court. The pretrial arguments in the case have been adjourned to later this week. There is a whole lot of procedures before witnesses will be examined by the court,” she said.

In the midst of this, the 56-year-old nun came out alleging poor treatment at the convent in Kerala’s Muvattupuzha, where she has been staying under police protection for several months.

"This is a house arrest. I am an evangelist but I’m not able to go anywhere and do the prayers. People in my convent are not involving me in any activities…they behave like I’m not part of them. This is happening because the priests are close to Bishop Franco Mullackal and enjoy influence among the higher authorities. I had asked the court to let me stay here till the end of trial and they allowed me to stay here under the witness protection,” Sister Lissy had told CNN-News18.

She was one of the few people with whom the victim nun had spoken about the sexual perversions she had been going through. Sister Lissy then had given her statement to the police, after which she was ostracised by the FCC and was also asked to leave Kerala and stay at a convent in Vijayawada.

Reiterating that she will not change her statement, Sister Lissy said, "I’m giving the statement because I know the truth. I have a personal relationship with the complainant nun from 2011. The nuns should get justice, I’m with her. I’m praying that she gets justice.”

Mulakkal, who belongs to the Jalandhar diocese, is facing a police investigation for allegedly raping a nun at a Kotayam convent 13 times. Following the victim’s complaint in June 2018, a number of other nuns had come forward and accused Mulakkal of sexual misconduct.

Church authorities have, however, stood by the bishop and the nuns who came out to protest against him allegedly faced backlash from Church officials.