Kochi/New Delhi: As nuns took to the streets of Kochi in ‘God’s own country’ Kerala to demand the arrest of a bishop accused of raping a nun, the National Commission for Women (NCW) took suo motu cognisance of the matter and directed State’s police chief to take action and file a report within 15 days.

They are demanding swift action against bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of sexually exploiting a nun.

Speaking exclusively to MyNation, NCW chief Rekha Sharma said the commission was seized of the matter and that it had intervened on its own. “We took suo motu note of the matter and have written to the director general of Kerala Police to take action and file a report with us in 15 days’ time,” she said.

Mulakkal is currently the Bishop of Jalandhar where he was appointed in 2013. Hailing from Kottayam, he also served as the Auxiliary Bishop of Delhi diocese in 2009.

The victim, who had complained to the church last December and filed a police complaint in July, is yet to get justice as Kerala Police have failed to take any action in the matter.

The BJP, however, pointed out that this was not the first time that such an incident of sexual exploitation has been reported from within the Church.

“The Church has long been challenged not that much from outside but from inside its own fold. Sister Jesme had revolted and walked out of the Church in 2008 citing physical and mental harassment. Today also she rallied against the Church. There was another, Sister Nirmala who hailed from Wayanad and walked out of the Church. She wrote a book against the Church. There are so many cases against vicars and bishops in India,” said TG Mohandas, head of Kerala BJP’s intellectual cell.

“Bishop Franco is the MD and chairperson of many companies floated by his Church. So he has given employment to several people. He might also have given hefty donation to political parties and so Kerala police and government is afraid of him. By this time, in any other case, the accused would have been under arrest. Even way mightier people, such as Ram Rahim and Asaram Bapu went to jail, and still, the bishop is more powerful than all these people put together. It is a disgrace that Kerala police have failed to act against him.” Mohandas added.