New Delhi: In yet another turn in the Kerala nun rape case that does not reflect well on the Left Democratic Front government in the state, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has written to chief minister Pinrayi Vijayan, asking him to protect witnesses and material evidence pertaining to the case in which Bishop Franco Mulakkal is the prime accused.

NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma wrote the letter after receiving two separate complaints by two nuns, including Sister Neena Rose, who the Church banished from their convent in the Kottayam district.

“The complainants alleged that the transfer orders were aimed to split them and ‘to sabotage the case’ against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, which is pending trial,” the letter said.

According to the letter to the chief minister, the complainants alleged further that the transfers had been ordered to “pressurize (sic) and threaten them as they are prominent witnesses in the case.”

“The complainants also apprehend danger to their lives, if transferred to distant regions,” Sharma told the CM in the letter.

Sharma asked Vijayan for his “personal intervention” in the matter “to ensure the safety of the complainants, victim of the case in trial, and the fellow nuns”.

The women’s body head requested “prompt action” to ensure “prevention of sabotage of material evidence and witnesses in pending case rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, so that justice may prevail.”

Sister Rose had been vociferous in demanding the arrest of Bishop Mulakkal of Jalandhar. She had been on the forefront of the public protest to press for that demand. She has been residing at the Kuravilangad St. Francis Mission Home near Kottayam.

Mulakkal has been accused of raping and sexually exploiting a nun 14 times since May 2014. She was sexually exploited, allegedly, at the church’s guest house facility at Kuravilangad. While the complainant had approached the Church, she did not find any succour. Then she decided to go to the police.