Chandigarh: The key witness to the ongoing Kerala nun rape case has been found in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur on Monday.

According to reports, Father Iko Kuriakose Elias Chavara, who testified against the prime accused Franco Mulakkal, was facing a life threat. His car was recently vandalised.

Kurikose’s sister-in-law suspects foul play. 

“Today in the morning at 10, he didn’t wake up, so the sisters went and checked on him. When he didn’t open the door, they called for help. The door was then broken and Kuriakose was found unconscious and there was vomit in the room. We took him to the hospital, where he was declared brought dead,” said Father Peter from Jalandhar diocese told News18.  

Kuriakose was a priest of the Jalandhar diocese.

Police have started investigation.

Franco Mulakkal, the Roman Catholic Bishop was accused of repeatedly raping and sexually abusing a nun between 2014 and 2016.

Mulakkal on October 19 wrote a letter to other Bishops of the Catholic Church in India saying that his time in the prison was like a '21-day retreat'. He said he spent most of the time praying, reading the word of God, meditating and reflecting on himself. 

"After two days of interrogation before the police team at Trippunithara (Kerala), it became clear that police had no option but to arrest me due to pressure from the media and the scenario created by the sisters and their supporters at Vanchi Square in front of the high court at Kochi,” he added, as reported. 

Mulakkal was arrested on September 21 but was released on bail by a Kerala court on October 17.