Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, a priest of the Jalandhar diocese who was a key witness in the rape case against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, was found dead in Punjab today, reports said.

The 62-year-old had earlier filed a complaint against Bishop Franco Mullakal.

On Monday morning, Father Kattuthara was found dead in his room in Jalandhar. His family reportedly plans to file a police complaint in connection with the death.

He was found lying unconscious by his assistant at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Dasuya sub-division. Though he was rushed to the hospital, he was declared brought dead.

According to reports, Father Kattuthara was receiving threats and his car was vandalized. Kattuthara’s Kerala-based brother, Jose Kattuthara, said that he had received a call from Father Michael Annikuzhikatil in Jalandhar, informing him about his brother’s death. “We have serious doubts over his death and believe that he was killed,” he said, News18 reported.

Talking to The Indian Express from Pallippuram near Cherthala in Alappuzha (Kerala), the deceased’s brother further said, “I spoke to my brother last week over the phone when he told me that he was getting threats after Bishop Franco was granted bail in the rape case.”

Jose added, “I have filed a complaint with the police, demanding a probe into the case.”

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Father Kattuthara had, in an interview with Mathrubhumi, said that his life was in danger. He supported the Missionaries of Jesus nun who accused Bishop Franko Mulakkal of rape. He was constantly being threatened by church officials because of his support for the nun.

Roman Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who has been accused of raping a nun multiple times between 2014 and 2016, was arrested on 24 September. He was granted conditional bail by the Kerala High Court last week.

Feature Image Credit: Hindustan Times

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