Kottayam: In a big relief to four Kerala nuns, who had extended their unconditional support to a nun allegedly raped by Bishop Franco Mulakkal and demanded his immediate arrest, the church authorities on Saturday cancelled their transfer orders and allowed them to stay at their Kuruvilangad convent as long as the case was in court.
The written assurance from the Jalandhar diocese came days after the four nuns wrote an open letter to the superior church authorities and the state’s Chief Minister Pinnarayi Vijayan.
In its letter, the Jalandhar diocese said that they will not be transferred out till the case is in court. “We have received a letter from the new Bishop of Jalandhar stating all the transferred nuns can remain at the Kuruvilangad convent, till the case is over,” Sister Anupama said.
The news of revocation of transfer orders was read out by Sister Anupama, one of the four nuns, at a public meeting organised near here, to protest against the manner in which they (the nuns) were being hounded.
The `protest` meeting saw good participation from a cross section of the society. But trouble broke out when five people, believed to be sympathisers of Bishop Franco, created a flutter at the venue.
The five protesters were quickly taken into custody and removed from the venue.
Last month, the four nuns, who are presently attached to the Kuruvilangad convent, were transferred to four different places in the country.
They sought Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan`s intervention in the matter, But as nothing much happened, they decided to organise the protest meeting on Saturday.
All the four nuns are witnesses in the case against former Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of sexually assaulting a nun repeatedly between 2014 and 2016.
Mulakkal was arrested on September 21, 2018 on rape charges after the four nuns joined a public protest in Kochi that forced the police to take strong action against the bishop.
Mulakkal had secured bail on October 16, 2018 and is now back in Punjab, but is no longer the diocesan head.