A priest of the Jalandhar diocese, who had recorded a statement against Bishop Franco Mulakkal accusing him of raping a nun several times, has been found dead in Jalandhar under mysterious circumstances.
Kattuthara was found dead in a room at the St. Mary's Church complex in Dasuya town, around 180 km from here.
She said that Father Kattuthara had mentioned multiple times that he was under a lot of pressure from his congregation to either withdraw support to the nuns' agitation, or to stay silent, adding that the family suspects foul play in his death and have filed a police complaint.
"I am shocked to hear the sudden death of Father Kuriakose Kattuthara as he was one of the witnesses and was, in fact, the first witness in the case", the nun's brother said.
Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, the prime witness in the Kerala nun rape case, was found dead on Monday.
When contacted, Hoshiarpur Deputy Commissioner Esha Kalia said, "Police were investigating the matter". "I have been informed that no injuries have been found". As per initial investigation, it seems he vomited over the bed. Talking to Mathrubhumi, he said that sisters refrained themselves from approaching the Kerala Police as they were scared of the Bishop and were well aware of his connections with the high and mighty.
He had also said that numerous nuns who had left the church had approached him with complaints against the bishop.
A report in the Indian Express has said that the Bishop wrote to other Bishops and monsignors of the Catholic Church in India, to bring them up to speed on the ongoing case.
Father Kattuthara, 60, was known for vociferously speaking against Mulakkal.
The priest had helped the nun who levelled rape allegations against the bishop.
Earlier last week, the Kerala High Court granted conditional bail to Bishop Franco Mulakkal, stating that Franco should not enter Kerala and that he should surrender his passport before the court. "He feared vengeance from the bishop on the family members when he obtained bail and went to Jalandhar", his elder brother Joy Kurian told DC.
On October 6, Mulakkal was produced before Judge M. Lekshmi of the Pala Judicial Magisterial Court who extended his judicial custody.