New Delhi: Condemning the protests demanding the arrest of Jalandhar Bishop, Franco Mulakkal, accused of allegedly raping a nun in Kottayam, Missionaries of Jesus asserted on Monday that the Bishop was innocent and the allegations against him were baseless. The organisation further said in a statement that it suspects the nuns have been forced into protests by some external influences.

“We condemn five nuns protesting with some organisations working against the church. Our conscious doesn’t allow us to crucify an innocent soul (Jalandhar Bishop) based on sexual abuse allegations by a nun. We suspect nuns have been forced into the protest by external influence,” Missionaries of Jesus said.

The remarks from the Missionaries of Jesus came a day after the members of Joint Christian Council in Kochi continued their protest for the second day, demanding the arrest of Bishop of Jalandhar who was accused of raping a nun in Kottayam. The nuns protested at High Court Junction bus station in the city.

Earlier in the day, the National Commission for Women issued summons to MLA PC George over his derogatory remarks on the Kerala nun who was raped by Jalandhar Bishop. The legislator in Kerala had said that the nun is a “prostitute”. “No one has doubt that the nun is a prostitute. Twelve times she enjoyed it and the 13th time it is rape? Why didn’t she complain the first time?” he had said.

Reacting on the incident, NCW chief said, “I met the nun in person, who was in a deep trauma. She was crying. She was protesting against the Bishop and demanding justice for herself. I have seen her being denounced by the church. She was denied basic facilities like ration and stipend… The bishop should be punished.”