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Monday, 22 October 2018

Priest who testified against suspected rapist catholic bishop, found dead.

A Catholic priest, one of the key

witnesses in the rape case against Bishop

Franco Mulakkal, was found dead under

suspicious circumstances at Hoshiarpur

district of Punjab on Monday. Father

Kuriakose Kattuthara (62) was found

lying in an unconscious state by his

assistant at St Mary’s Catholic Church in

Dasuya sub-division; he was rushed to

the hospital where he was declared

brought dead.

Father Kuriakose had served as a priest

in the Jalandhar diocese and had given a

statement to the police against Bishop

Mulakkal, who has been accused of

raping a nun 13 times between 2014 and

2016. The deceased priest had also served

as a vocational trainer in a convent

belonging to the Missionaries of Jesus,

and had offered assistance to other nuns

who had expressed their grievances

against the Bishop.


Providing details, an eyewitness in the

case said the priest had vomited near his

bed.

While the exact cause behind the death is

yet to be known, however, family

members cried foul play behind the

incident. Father Kattuthara’s family

alleged that the priest had received death

threats from those in the church for

speaking against the Bishop.


Talking to The Indian Express

from Pallippuram near Cherthala in

Alappuzha (Kerala), the deceased priest’s

brother Jose Kattuthara said, “I spoke to

my brother last week over the phone

when he told me that he was getting

threats after Bishop Franco was granted

bail in the rape case.”


Jose added, “I have filed a complaint with

the police, demanding a probe into the

case.” He also claimed that the police

was aware of the threats issued to the

priest. He said he will travel to Punjab

soon.

Hoshiarpur Senior Superintendent of

Police J Elanchezhian said the police was

informed late about the incident. He

added that it was the church officials

who had rushed the priest to the

hospital, where he was declared brought

dead.

Dasuya Deputy Superintendent of Police

(DSP) AR Sharma told news agency ANI

that no injuries were found on the

deceased priest’s body. “He (Father

Kuriakose) used to live at St. Paul’s

Church in Dasuya. He was found dead

there. He was 62. The matter will be

investigated. I have been informed that

no injuries have been found,” the officer

said.

The DSP added, “It was found that he

had vomited over the bed. Blood

pressure tablets were found at the spot.

An investigation is underway. In our

notice, no security was provided to him.”

Bishop Mulakkal, who has been accused

of subjecting a nun to unnatural sex on

multiple occasions over two-and-a-half-

years, is currently out on bail.

A large number of people, including

supporters and Independent MLA P C

George, had greeted the 54-year-old

clergyman as he came out of the sub-jail

at Pala last week, 25 days after he was

arrested. The court, while granting the

conditional bail, had directed the bishop

to leave the state within 24 hours of his

release from the prison.

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