Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, , a key witness who had given statement against Bishop Franco Mulakkal in the rape case, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Punjab’s Jalandhar today.
The Punjab Police said a probe is underway into the 67-year-old bishop’s death. “Our team has gone to the spot and is investigating the matter,” a Dasuya police official said.
Kattuthara was found dead in a room at the St. Mary’s Church complex in Dasuya town, around 180 km from Chandigarh. He was under the Jalandhar diocese which is headed by Mulakkal. On October 15, the Kerala High Court had granted conditional bail to Roman Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal, arrested over allegations of repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting a nun.
Kattuthara had openly given statements against the Mulakkal after the Kerala nun accused him of raping her. Jose Kattuthara, the brother of the deceased, has complained to the police raising suspicion about the circumstances in which he was found dead.
The deceased priest, in some interviews, had already expressed apprehension about his fate after openly supporting the victim nun and speaking against the bishop.