Written byShiladitya Ray
In yet another twist to the Kerala nun rape case, a priest who had earlier publicly spoken against the accused, Bishop Franco Mulakkal, has been found dead.
67-year-old Father Kuriakose Kattuthara was found dead in St. Mary's Church in Jalandhar on Monday.
While the exact cause of his death is not known as of now, his family suspects foul play.
Here are the details.
Father Kuriakose was a major figure in the case, and had given a statement to the Kerala Police against Bishop Franco.
Earlier, he had also claimed that he was under severe pressure from church officials for supporting the nun's rape allegations against the Bishop.
According to The News Minute, Father Kuriakose was also a prosecution witness against the powerful Bishop.
Speaking to media, Father Kuriakose's family said that they suspected foul play in the priest's death.
The priest's brother, Jose Kattuthara went as far as saying that Father Kuriakose had been killed because he had given a statement against Bishop Franco, and because he was a key witness to the case.
Sister Anupama, who led the protests against Bishop Franco, also voiced similar concerns.
"We are very shocked to hear this news...He was a crucial witness in our case as he had given statements against Bishop Franco to the police...We feel the circumstances of his death are suspicious and may affect our case against Bishop Franco," said Sister Anupama.
Meanwhile, Bishop Franco is out on conditional bail, which was granted to him by the Kerala High Court on October 15.
Granting bail, the Kerala HC had ordered Bishop Franco to present himself to investigators in two weeks time, had barred him from entering Kerala, and had asked him to surrender his passport.
When Franco returned to Jalandhar on bail, he was showered with petals and given a hero's welcome by his supporters.
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