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Press Release on the Alleged Rape of Nun by Bishop of Jalandhar

The Indian Christian Women’s movement (ICWM), a national ecumenical movement of Christian women, demands action against the Bishop of Jalandhar, Franco Mulakkal, who has allegedly raped a nun repeatedly over a period of two years.

ICWM expresses solidarity with the public protest, now ongoing in Kochi, against police inaction in following up on the evidence against him. ICWM commends the courageous action of the 5 nuns who hail from the rape survivor’s convent in Kuravilangad, Kottayam, in joining the protesters in their struggle for justice.

ICWM strongly condemns the laxity of the police in the probe against the Bishop and their inaction against him, despite the testimonies of the survivor and others from her congregation. The ICWM expresses its anger, pain and shame at the silence of the Catholic hierarchy and their refusal to make the accused step down from office while the police investigation is ongoing. ICWM questions the credibility of the hierarchy in promoting a policy to address sexual harassment in the Church when it has failed to institute an ecclesiastical enquiry against an accused bishop.

The ICWM is outraged at the religio-political nexus in the state which is serving to safeguard the criminal, and the way the resources of the Church are being used to protect the accused and divert the course of the police investigation.

The ICWM demands the immediate sacking of PC George an independent MLA from Kerala, who made an outright derogatory and misogynistic remark in a press conference, openly shaming the rape survivor by labelling her a prostitute, misnaming the rape as an act of pleasure and questioning the right of the raped nun to call the rape a rape. The ICWM condemns the impunity with which the said MLA later asserted to a news anchor that he stands by what he had said about the rape survivor.

Kochurani Abraham

National Convener, ICWM

Jessica Prakash Richard

National Secretary, ICWM

Aruna Gnanadason

Member, National Team, ICWM

Astrid Lobo Gajiwala

Member, National Team, ICWM

Noella D’Souza

Member, National Team, ICWM

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