New Delhi, Oct 22, 2018 : Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, a priest of the Jalandhar diocese who had filed a complaint against rape-accused bishop Franko Mulakkal, was found dead on Monday morning. His family has raised suspicions and is set to file a police complaint in connection with the death, New18 reported.
Speaking to News18, Kattuthara’s Kerala-based brother, Jose Kattuthara, said that he had received a call from Father Michael Annikuzhikatil in Jalandhar informing him about his brother’s death. “We have serious doubts over his death and believe that he was killed,” he said.
According to the family, they received a call around 11am on Monday and were told that Kuriakose had died on Friday night. The delay in informing them about the death, the family further said, has added to their suspicion. The family is currently in Kerala and last spoke to Kuriakose about two weeks ago.
Father Peter from Jalandhar diocese told News18, “Today in the morning at 10, he didn’t wake up, so the sisters went and checked on him. When he didn’t open the door, they called for help. The door was then broken and Kuriakose was found unconscious and there was vomit in the room. We took him to the hospital, where he was declared brought dead.”
Ruling out foul play in Kuriakose’s death, Father Peter said that the reason for the family’s suspicion was his statement against Mulakkal. “We are not enemies, we are all good friends,” he said.
Father Kuriakose had, in an interview to Mathrubhumi, said that he feared for his life. Father Kuriakose had supported the Missionaries of Jesus nun who accused Bishop Franko Mulakkal of rape. He had said that he was constantly threatened by church officials because of his support for the nun.
Roman Catholic bishop Mulakkal was granted conditional bail by the Kerala High Court last week. He was arrested on September 21 after being accused of repeatedly raping and sexually abusing a nun between 2014 and 2016. As he reached Jalandhar after release, he received a rousing welcome from his supporters.