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Monday 30 March 2020

Kerala nun rape: Key witness Father Kuriakose Kattuthara found dead

Kattuthara was found dead in a room at the St. Mary's Church complex in Dasuya town, around 180 km from here. He was under the Jalandhar diocese which is headed by Mulakkal

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In India

Hoshiarpur (Punjab): Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, who had given statements against Kerala nun rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district on Monday, police said.

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 here. He was under the Jalandhar diocese which is headed by Mulakkal.

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.

Mulakkal was arrested on 21 September on charges of raping a nun repeatedly between 2014 and 2016. He was sent to two-week judicial custody on 24 September.

Mulakkal secured bail on 16 October from the Kerala High Court and left for Jalandhar on the same day after walking out of the Pala sub-jail near Kottayam.

Kattuthara was found unconscious in his room, police officials said. The priest was transferred 15 days ago to a Catholic church in Dasuya, police said. He was staying in the church premises.

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