In a shocking development in the Kerala nun rape case, Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, a key eyewitness, was found dead on Monday. Minutes after the news surfaced, a statement has been issued by Jalandhar Diocese in which 'Bishop Franco Mulakkal and Bishop Agnelo Gracias have expressed sadness over the sudden demise of Fr. Kuriakose Kattuthara'.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal and Bishop Agnelo Gracias have expressed sadness over the sudden demise of Fr. Kuriakose Kattuthara. He was found dead in his personal room in the morning of 22nd October 2018. He was staying in the priest house of Dasuya, Tanda Deanery, Hoshiarpur District. He was born on 9th July 1957. He was ordained on 29th March 1983. He has served in the Diocese of Jalandhar in various capacities as Parish Priest, Professor, Director, Chaplin to convents etc. He was instrumental in preparing the Punjabi Missal for the locdaal Church. His sudden death has left a big sorrow to the Jalandhar Presbyterium and Religious Men and Women and People of God. Hearty Condolences.
Earlier in the day, the sexagenarian priest who had given a statement against rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal was found dead under mysterious circumstances at his residence in Jalandhar. Father Kuriakose had alleged that he was tortured by Franco Mulakkal for filing a complaint.
Father Kuriakose Kattuthara (62) had served as a priest in the Jalandhar diocese and also served as a vocational trainer in a convent belonging to the Missionaries of Jesus. He had offered assistance to other nuns who had expressed their grievances against the Bishop.
Speaking to a local news channel, Father Kattuthara’s family alleged that the priest had received death threats for speaking against the Bishop.
As per reports, the priest informed his near ones about an incident where unidentified people pushed against his gate and were spotted loitering around his residence,however, the priest refused to lodge a police complaint. He was transferred to Dasva from Jalandhar after the nun rape case controversy but he still refused to retract his statement against Franco Mulakkal.
Speaking to Republic TV on this issue, Sister Anupama who has been leading the campaign against Franco Mulakkal said, ‘ the matter should be investigated and Father Kuriakose was transferred from the church to some other church by the missionary since he was supporting the victim even on TV shows openly. I feel very sorry for him and his family. Franco Mulakkal is such a person who is capable of doing such acts and police should investigate this.’
However, the nature of the priest’s death can be ascertained only after the post-mortem as he was also being treated for age-related ailments.