About 600 people demon-strated near the legislative house of India’s Kerala State demanding bail be revoked for a Catholic bishop accused of raping a nun.
Protesters say the free movement of Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar, a native of Kerala, has become a threat to witnesses in the case and is working against the legal process.
“As long as Franco is out on bail, he can use his power to destroy evidence and influence witnesses. The lives of witnesses and sisters who publicly spoke against him are also at a risk,” said former Kerala chief minister and communist leader V.S. Achuthanandan, who launched the protest on Nov. 14.
Kerala’s High Court bailed Bishop Mulakkal on Oct. 15. He was arrested on Sept. 21 based on the July complaint of a 48-year-old nun of the Missionaries of Jesus, a diocesan congregation under the prelate, that he raped her multiple times between 2014 and 2016 while he was visiting her convent in Kerala.