‘Will continue fight till bishop’s arrest’
Protesting nuns say govt.’s stance on the issue is not clear; eight priests extend support to agitation
The five nuns participating in the ongoing protest organised by the Save Our Sisters (SOS) Action Council against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, head of the Jalandhar diocese of the Catholic Church, have said that their agitation will end only after the bishop’s arrest for allegedly raping a nun.
Sister Anupama of the Missionaries of Jesus under the Jalandhar diocese said here on Saturday that the bishop’s decision to hand over charges to vicar general Mathew Kokkandam was a normal practice in the Church administration and it could not be considered as a victory for the agitation.
“Our fight is to ensure justice for the victim and it will continue till the bishop is arrested and interrogated by the investigating team,” she said at Vanchi Square near the office of the Inspector General, Kochi Range.
Sister Anupama pointed out that they were not fighting against the Church, the police and the government.
“The Church authorities had not supported us despite our repeated pleas... V.S. Achuthanandan, former Chief Minister, had called us to extend support for our struggle. We are not yet clear about the stance adopted by the government. However, we hope that the police will arrest the bishop,’’ she said.
Fr. Augustine Vattoly, convener of the council, said they would file a complaint before the Commissioner of Police, Kochi, seeking the arrest of those at the Missionaries of Justice responsible for releasing a photograph of the victim. A case has been registered against the Missionaries of Justice by the Kuravilangadu police in Kottayam district on a complaint filed by the victim’s brother.
Meanwhile, support continued to pour in for the ongoing protest from various quarters. Eight priests led by Fr. Paul Thelakkat, former spokesperson of the Syro Malabar Church, visited the protest site and extended their support to the agitation. Fr. Thelakkat urged the Vatican to ensure justice to the protesting nuns and the victim.
Growing support: A priest visits the protesting nuns in Kochi on Saturday.