Priest who filed plaint against Franco Mulakkal found dead

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Chandigarh: Priest of the Jalandhar Diocese Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, 60, who filed a case against Bishop Franco Mulakkal was found dead on Monday morning in Punjab's Hoshiarpur district. Father Kuriakose had been suffering from age-related ailments. However, a group of priests have alleged conspiracy in the death. The exact cause of death isn’t known and more details will be revealed after the post-mortem.

He was found dead in a room at the St. Mary's Church complex in Dasuya town, around 180 km from here.

Fr Kuriakose had filed a complaint against Franco Mulakkal in the nun abuse case. Fr Kuriakose had said in an interview given to Mathrubhumi that he was tortured by the Bishop and the Bishop House officials for his stand.

Kuriakose's brother Jose Kattuthara told Mathrubhumi that he is suspicious of the death. He alleged that his brother has been killed for giving statement against Franco Mulakkal. Fr Kuriakose had been frequently threatened by the church officials. He also revealed that Fr Kuriakose had said that his life was under threat. Fr Kuriakose's relatives filed a complaint with the Cherthala DySP considering the suspicious death.

It was reported that Fr Kuriakose had some health issues. He was excluded from the responsibilities of the diocese.

Fr Kuriakose had helped the nun who raised allegations against Franco Mulakkal. He had also taken strong stand against Franco. His relatives said his house and vehicle were damaged by some attackers.

Fr Kuriakose had said that the nuns had told several complaints about Franco to him, who was also a vocational trainer. He had worked with former bishop Symphorian Keeprath, who had established Missionaries of Jesus for nuns under the diocese. He was a native of Pallippuram in Alappuzha.

Franco Mulakkal who had received bail is currently in Jalandhar.

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