Kerala, Sept 12, 2018 : In the wake of a countrywide outrage against his remark calling a nun who accused the Roman Catholic Bishop of Jalandhar Franko Mulakkal of sexual assault a “prostitute”, Kerala legislator PC George on Wednesday withdrew his statement saying it was an “emotional outburst” but did not apologise for it.
“I deal with issues emotionally. It was a slip on my part and I should not have used the word and withdraw summarily what I said in the press conference in Kottayam a couple of days back,” he said. George however added he will stick to other charges he raised against the nun of Jesus of Missionary Congregation.
While defending the accused bishop, the Kerala lawmaker had verbally abused the victim and cast aspersions on her. Terming her a “prostitute”, he had asked why she had waited till the 13th attempt before complaining. In her police complaint, the nun had said she was raped and forced to unnatural sex by the bishop 13 times between 2012 and 2014.
Taking exception to his remarks, the National Commission for Women had asked him to appear before it on September 20, but George had brushed aside the summons. He said he will appear before it in Delhi if the commission gives him travel allowance, otherwise the chairperson can come and meet him in Kerala.
Angry over George’s comments, some social activists have started a #Vaaymoodal (Shut Your Mouth) Campaign on Facebook, urging people to send cellophane tape to the legislator so he can keep his mouth shut. Many took to it on social media in a big way, making it viral in a short span of time.
Later, some more belligerent ones started another campaign #VaayaMoodeadaPC and it also turned a bit hit. Many actors, activists and leaders trolled George, who is notorious for his controversial outbursts, with some saying his “gutter mouth needed a thorough cleaning to check foul smell.”
Meanwhile, the investigating team probing the nun assault case met in Kochi and reviewed the investigation progress and the course ahead. The high court had directed it to furnish all details of investigation. While hearing the case, a bench headed by Chief Justice Rishikesh Roy had observed that the investigating officer had filed an affidavit in the court on August 13 saying an initial inquir, had shown the allegations against the bishop were true and asked the government what actions were taken after this.
Facing much criticism for delaying the arrest of bishop, police are likely to summon him for questioning in Kerala. Attacking the police for favouring the accused, the victim had said though she was questioned at least seven times by the police, the bishop was questioned only once.
The Kerala Regional Latin Catholic Council has disowned the Jalandhar bishop. “We wish he should have quit long back. Allegations against him are personal in nature and not against the church. By sticking to his position, he is inviting enough shame for the whole community,” said council spokesman Shaji George in a statement.