It seems like the church won’t come out of the troubles revolving and rotating around it anytime soon. A week ago Bishop Franco was released on bail after he was accused of raping the nun for 13 times. When he stepped out of jail, he received a hero’s welcome and this sent everyone to the thinking “How could a rape accused get such a grand welcome?”.
But within days after he was released, another father named Kuriakose who one the key witness in the nun rape case and had given statement against Bishop Franco was found dead in his room. Soon people began to read between the lines. And now the Punjab Police are suspecting that Father Kuriakose’s death is unnatural and have filed a case.
Yes, on 23rd October the Hoshiarpur Police (Punjab) has registered a case under Section 174 of CrPC (when a person has committed suicide, or has been killed by another or by an animal or by machinery or by an accident, or has died under circumstances raising a reasonable suspicion that some other person has committed an offence). This development has taken place as Father Kuriakose’s younger brother Jose Katthuthara filed a complaint after he smelled a conspiracy behind his brother’s death.
A report said “If the lab, report of the samples collected from the room, where the priest was found dead, and the autopsy reports prove the death to be natural, then Section 174 will be dropped”.
It should be noted that days before his death, father Kuriakose had said “The sisters had approached me complaining about Bishop Franco. They did not approach the Kerala police fearing the bishop. In fact, I fear what will happen to me for speaking out against him”.
After the death of father Kuriakose under mysterious circumstances, Sister Anupama, who had led the protests against Bishop Franco said “We are very shocked to hear this news. Father Kuriakose has taught me and he was part of our parish as well. He was a crucial witness in our case as he had given statements against Bishop Franco to the police. I haven’t been in touch with him but I had heard from other priests that he had been facing a lot of pressure of late, with many in the church pointing fingers at him. We feel the circumstances of his death are suspicious and may affect our case against Bishop Franco”.