Kerala, Sept 14, 2018 : A Church in Jalandhar has come out in support of the bishop who is accused of raping a Kerala-based nun multiple times when he visited the state for official work.
The Missionaries of Jesus, Jalandhar, said it has conducted an internal probe into the matter and has found that the bishop is innocent.
"The nun who has complained against the bishop has conspired in connivance with nine others, including five nuns, against the bishop," the Church body said in a statement.
The statement says that the nuns have been "influenced" by some people to do this.
A nun in Kerala has alleged that the Jalandhar-based bishop had raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016 during his visits to Kerala. The rape allegations have taken the sate by a storm.
The Kerala High Court on Monday had pulled up the state government and the police and asked them to submit reports regarding investigations into the case.
On Wednesday, the Diocese of Jalandhar (where the accused bishop is posted) also came out in support of bishop. This was on the same day when the police told the Kerala High Court that their preliminary investigations reveal that the bishop abused his position and raped the nun on multiple occasions between 2014 and 2016.
A day later, a division bench of the Kerala High Court comprising Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice AK Jayasankaran Nambiar said the court is satisfied with the manner in which the case is being investigated by the police.
"We are of the prima facie view that the investigation is being conducted in a fair and professional manner and at this stage, it would be inappropriate for the court to issue any specific direction on the conduct of the probe," the bench said.
The Missionaries of Jesus in its statement has questioned the motive of the nun and her friends. "The complainant’s friend was handling the visitors’ register in the convent. They must have tampered with it," the statement said.
It also alleged that the complainant "forcefully took control" of the CCTV system of the convent from the supervisor.
"The bishop did not stay in the Kuruvilangad convent on May 5, 2014. The nun and the bishop can be seen enthusiastically attending a private function later. All these point towards the conclusion that no rape occurred," the statement said.
The nuns on the other hand have been protesting against the police and Church authorities for going soft on the bishop. The police have provided round-the-clock protection to the St. Francis Mission Home at Kuravilangad in Kottayam district where the complainant and two of the witnesses are staying.