Sister Anupama of a convent in Kuravilangad, Kottayam district, expressed her disappointment on the acquittal of Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Catholic church, by a Kerala court, in a rape case. "There have been many ups and downs but we really don't know why he was acquitted," she told The Quint.
The rape survivor, a nun in sister Anupama's convent, had lodged a complaint against the bishop for raping her multiple times between 2014 and 2016. In 2018, five nuns of the convent, along with several human rights activists had staged a protest in Kochi, demanding the bishop's arrest.
Sister Anupama said, "We will continue to fight this case by appealing. We are with the survivor."
How the Case Came to Light
While the complaint against the bishop was lodged in June 2018, it took long days of protest under the collective banner of 'Save Our Sisters,' for Mulakkal's arrest to take place.
Sisters Alphy, Ancett, Anupama, Josephine, and Nina Rose came out in support of the survivor in August 2018. While several women's organisations and human rights groups supported the nuns, Mulakkal was arrested in September 2018. The trial in the case started in November 2019.
"We were supported by cooperative police officers who investigated the case and by legal help offered by our team," sister Anupama said.
The sisters have decided to go for an appeal in a higher court. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) which was probing the case has decided to get the state's permission for appeal.
"The survivor has gone through enough. It is about time she gets justice," sister Anupama said. Meanwhile, Sister Teena Jose, who has been supporting the nuns since long said, "I hope the judiciary gives my sisters the justice they deserve. I am hopeful."