Sister Anupama, who was at the forefront of protests demanding the arrest of Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun, was Thursday heckled and asked by some people to leave the cemetery where the funeral of a key witness in the rape case was going on.

Kuriakose Kattuthara, a priest who had also testified against Mulakkal, had been found dead under mysterious circumstances in Dasuya near Jalandhar in northern Punjab three days ago. The post-mortem was held at Jalandhar and body brought to Kerala on Wednesday.

At the funeral this evening, a section people who are faithful to Bishop Mulakkal protested Anupama's presence and asked her to leave the cemetery at St Mary's church in Pallipuram. 

Reacting to the incident, Anupama, who was accompanied by other nuns, broke down and said she was "deeply hurt" by the protests.

"I am from this place. I know Father Kattuthara for many years. He has seen me as his own daughter.. we have only stood for truth," she said.

Father Kattuthara's mysterious death comes days after Mulakkal, who was arrested and is presently out on bail, reached Jalandhar from Kerala.

Mulakkal, who was granted conditional bail on October 15, had received a rousing welcome from his followers and supporters when he returned to Jalandhar.

In her complaint to the Kottayam Police in June, the rape victim alleged that Mulakkal raped her at a guest house in Kuravilangad in May 2014 and later sexually exploited her on several occasions.

However, Mulakkal denied the charges as "baseless and concocted," insisting she leveled those as the Catholic order had rejected her demand for favours.