Trivandrum: Jalandhar-based Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun, approached the Kerala High Court on Tuesday seeking anticipatory bail in the case, according to PTI. The matter will be heard later in the day.
The 54-year-old bishop claimed that the allegations levelled by the nun, serving in a congregation under the Jalandhar Diocese, is “wholly concocted and cooked up only to wreak vengeance” for the actions taken by him on various complaints received against her.
Claiming innocence, the bishop also said the complaint was “nothing but a fictional story” by the nun.
In a letter dated September 16, Bishop Mulakkal sought permission from Pope Francis to step down temporarily, saying he needed more time to travel to Kerala and fight the case. The bishop also issued a circular delegating Monsignor Mathew Kokkandum to administer the activities of Diocese on his behalf as he was issued a notice by the Kerala Police to appear before it on September 19 for further investigations.
A nun belonging to the Catholic congregation of Missionaries of Jesus in Jalandhar filed a police complaint against Bishop Franco Mulakkal in June alleging that he raped and subjected her to unnatural sex 13 times since 2014 at a convent in Kuravilangad.
Accusing the bishop of sending lewd messages and obscene pictures over the phone, the nun said she had also informed Cardinal George Alancherry, the head of the Kochi-based Syro-Malabar Church about the alleged abuse. Alencherry has claimed that the nun had talked about the “torture” at the congregation, but did not mention sexual abuse. As the Church took no action, the nun approached the police.
The victim nun alleged that Bishop Mulakkal was using “political and money power” to “bury” the case against him. She had recently sought an urgent intervention of the Vatican for justice and demanded the bishop’s removal as the head of the Jalandhar diocese, questioning why the church was “closing its eyes to the truth” when she had mustered the courage to make her suffering public.
Naveen Patnaik-led BJD sweeps Odisha assembly polls
Mumbai: Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) clinches a clean sweep in the Odisha assembly elections. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has tried to increase the vote margin than the previous elections.
The BJD has secured 94 seats. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has joined the race with 28 seats, the Indian National Congress (INC) managed to attain 12 seats and the Communist Party of India, Marxist (CPM) with 1 seat.
The counting of votes began at 8 am. The Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Odisha took place simultaneously in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29.
In 2014 Odisha assembly election, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) had won 117 seats out of the total 147. The Congress had won 16 seats while the BJP, on the other hand, 10 of the 147 assembly seats.
An Odisha-centric exit poll jointly done by Sambad, the most circulated regional daily in the state, and Kanak News, its group-owned TV channel, gives BJD a massive lead over its closest rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Sampling a survey of over 100,000 respondents, the exit poll forecasts BJD winning 85-95 of the 147 Assembly seats, where outcomes were polled till this report was filed. The BJP is seen contending with a distant second spot with 25-34 seats, while for the Congress, the poll trend is a reprisal of its mortifying electoral performance in 2014. Congress party’s presence is seen diminishing to 12-15 seats.
A collective prediction of Kanak News and News18 Odia for the Odisha Assembly Election 2019 projects BJD’s win. On the other hand, the BJP may add more to its 2014 tally by 16 seats, which comes up to 26 of the 147-seat assembly. Congress, on the other hand, may manage to win only 12 seats, a drop of four seats less than what it had won in the 2014 polls. The other parties will collectively win 24 seats in Odisha.
Among the main candidates in Odisha, Naveen Patnaik contested in two seats – Hinjili in Ganjam district and Bijepur in Bargarh. Senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra contested from Bolangir assembly seat, while BJP’s legislature party leader KV Singhdeo is contested from Patnagarh.
Before the gradual rise of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) – formed by Biju Patnaik and his son Naveen Patnaik, the political arena was dominated by the Congress.
The upsurge of Congress party in the state as the only secular, progressive force in Odisha was countered by the BJD, which has managed to gain a majority for the last three consecutive terms. The BJP has also made its presence felt in the state, and is considered an important political party in Odisha.
The regional parties apart from BJD in the state are Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), Janata Dal(United), Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP), Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), Samajwadi Party (SP).
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India, Marxist (CPM), Indian National Congress (INC) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are the national parties in Odisha at present.?
Odisha, earlier known as Orissa, has a rich and varied political tradition. From the ancient times, the state has remained politically active. However, Odisha’s political prominence was heightened after it was granted complete statehood in 1950. Odisha has a 147-member strong Vidhan Sabha.
‘Was expected, it is people’s victory,’ says Jaganmohan Reddy
Amaravati: With his YSR Congress heading for a landslide victory in the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Andhra Pradesh, party president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy Thursday termed it as people’s victory.
He also said the YSRC’s victory was expected. “I sincerely thank the people who overwhelmingly voted for YSRC and blessed it. I also thank them for exercising their franchise in large numbers and enhanced the value of democracy,” Jaganmohan Reddy said in a Facebook post.
“I will live up to the expectations of the people,” he promised.
According to the trends, YSRC is leading in over 150 seats of the total 175 in the State.
The party is leading in 23 Lok Sabha seats, while the TDP in two.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao called Reddy over phone and congratulated him over the YSRC’s thumping win in the general elections. Wishing Reddy all the best, Rao hoped he would lead Andhra Pradesh further on the path of progress.
Later, talking to the media at his residence here, the YSRC chief congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the BJP’s stupendous performance in the Lok Sabha polls.
Reddy asserted that his fight for securing special category status for Andhra Pradesh would continue. He declined to speak about Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Meanwhile, the YSRC Legislature Party will meet here on May 25 to formally elect Jaganmohan Reddy as its leader, party sources said. The sources said Reddy will take oath as Chief Minister in the temple-town of Tirupati on May 30.
BJP loses Parrikar’s Panaji Assembly seat to Congress
Panaji: Congress’ Atanasio Monserratte on Thursday wrested Panaji Assembly seat, held by the late chief minister Manohar Parrikar, from the BJP and with a margin of over 1,775 votes in the by-poll held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections.
The Panaji Assembly seat became vacant after the demise of former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who held the seat for nearly two-and-a-half decades since 1994.
The BJP had fielded Siddharth Kunkolienkar to retain the seat.
Goa Assembly has a strength of 40 members out of which BJP currently has 12 legislators and enjoys the support of legislators from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Vijay Sardesai of the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and three independents. GFP and MGP each have three MLAs.
Congress, on the other hand, has 15 MLAs in the house till now.
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