Bishop Franco Mulakkal appears in court

Agencies
May 10,2019

Kottayam, May 10: Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping and sexually assaulting a nun in Kerala, Friday appeared before a magistrate court in Pala.

The Pala Judicial First Class Magistrate Court (JFMC), which issued summons to the accused last week directing him to appear before it on May 10, accepted his plea seeking further extension of bail.

The accused was handed over a copy of the charge sheet and other related documents filed against him by the Special Investigation Team of the Kerala police which investigated the case.

The court posted the matter for June 7 for further consideration.

Mulakkal offered prayers at a church in Bharananganam near Pala before appearing in court.

Last month, the special investigation team had filed the charge sheet against Bishop Mulakkal, seven months after he was arrested over allegations of raping and sexually assaulting the nun.

Mulakkal was former Bishop of Jalandhar diocese and a senior member of the Roman Catholic clergy in India.

The nun, who belongs to Missionaries of Jesus congregation under Jalandhar diocese, had accused the 55-year old clergyman of repeatedly raping and having unnatural sex with her between 2014 and 2016.

He allegedly committed the offence when he was the Bishop of the Jalandhar diocese.

He has been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 376C (sexual intercourse by person in authority), Section 377 (unnatural sex) and 506(1) (criminal threat).

In her complaint to police in June last, the nun had alleged that Mulakkal raped her at a guest house in Kuravilangad in May 2014 and later sexually exploited her on several occasions.

She said she had to approach police as church authorities did not act on her repeated complaints against the clergyman.

Mulakkal, however, has claimed that he was "absolutely innocent" and "falsely implicated" with an "ulterior motive and vexatious intention."

Ahead of his interrogation and arrest, the Vatican had relieved him "temporarily" of all pastoral responsibilities as the bishop of the Jalandhar Diocese.

Mulakkal was arrested in September last amid mounting public outrage over allegations of repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting the nun.

He was released from a sub-jail in Pala on October 16 after the Kerala High Court granted him bail.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.

Expert team in Mangaluru to study reason for spurt in covid-19 deaths

News Network
July 17,2020

Mangaluru, Jul 17: An expert team from Bengaluru has arrived here on Friday to study the factors that have led to the sudden spurt in death due to Covid-19 in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka in the recent past.

The team has arrived following a request made by the district administration. The team comprising three experts has already held talks with specialist Doctors, according to official sources.

It will examine the reports on the treatment provided to the patients who have succumbed to the infection and will submit a report citing reasons for the increase in deaths, the sources added.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.

Request funds from PM for Cauvery basin: Karnataka Cong chief appeals to CM

News Network
August 11,2020

Bengaluru, Aug 11: Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president DK Shivakumar on Monday appealed to Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa to request funds from the Prime Minister to sort out the problem in the Cauvery basin.

Speaking to news agency Shivakumar said, "As far as Cauvery basin is concerned, we're seeing heavy flood for the last three years. We're losing lives. I appeal to the Chief Minister to take an all-party delegation or his own party's delegation to Prime Minister and request at least Rs 10,000 crore to sort out the problem in the basin."

Several parts of Karnataka, including Karwar in Uttara Kannada district, continue to face a flood-like situation due to incessant rainfall, while the Central Water Commission (CWC) warned that Cauvery river in Chamarajanagar district is flowing in 'severe situation'.

The Karnataka government on August 6 said that it had already released Rs 50 crore, and will release more funds if needed amid the incessant rainfall across the state.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa also directed the district in-charge ministers to take appropriate precautions in the face of increasing rainfall across the state.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi convened a video-conference meeting with the ministers of various states over the flood situation in the country.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.

Yediyurappa consolidates to stay the course in Karnataka amid covid crisis

News Network
August 2,2020

bsy.jpg

Bengaluru, Aug 2: Within a year of returning to power for the fourth time as Chief Minister in Karnataka, septuagenarian B.S. Yediyurappa has consolidated his position in the ruling BJP to stay the course till the next Assembly elections in mid-2023.

"A combination of factors helped Yediyurappa to consolidate and stay the course for the remaining term of his office to ensure the saffron party retains power in the state though he is unlikely to stake claim for the chief minister's post again as he would be 80 years old by 2023," a party source told news agency here.

Since the 77-year-old seasoned politician assumed office on July 26, 2019, the first year has been tumultuous for him, as he had go through a "trial by fire" what with the party's mighty high command and detractors testing his patience in the face of natural calamities like drought, floods and the Covid pandemic.

The first 7-8 months of the term were spent in tackling drought and floods, winning 12 of the 15 by-elections in December to secure a majority for the ruling party in the lower house and expanding the cabinet in February.

Even as Yediyurappa was settling down to seriously govern after presenting the state budget for fiscal 2020-21 in early March, the coronavirus outbreak overwhelmed him, as the pandemic spread and wreaked havoc, disrupting life, livelihood, economic growth and development.

"While the emphatic victory in the by-elections ensured the government's stability till the assembly term up to mid-2023, the second cabinet expansion on February 6 posed a challenge to Yediyurappa, as he could induct only 10 of the 12 MLAs who defected from the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and won the by-elections, triggering a revolt in the party by the loyalists left out of the ministry," the source recalled.

Though Yeddiyurappa has been leading the battle against the virus from day 1 and initially succeeded in controlling it from spreading during the extended lockdown till May 31, reopening the state under Unlock since June has undone the gains, as positive cases shot up to 1,29,287 so far, including 73,219 in Bengaluru after 53,648 recovered from across the state till date, while 2,412 succumbed to the deadly disease since March 9.

"For a state of 7 crore population, the data reveals that the pandemic has been fought on war-footing to contain it from spreading in all the 30 districts, although there are no signs of it going away till a vaccine is found. The chief minister has been trying to balance unlocking the state and containing the infection," a member of the health task force told IANS.

With six cabinet posts in the 34-member ministry being vacant, filling them will be a daunting task for Yediyurappa, as at least 20 legislators, including 5-6 newly elected turncoats and party's veterans are lobbying to become ministers at any cost.

By appointing 20 party legislators as heads of state-run board and corporations, nominating 5 as members of the state legislative council, including JD-S defector A.H. Vishwanath in July and getting 2 Congress defectors R. Shankar and M.T.B. Nagaraj elected as MLCs in June with 2 others, Yediyurappa ensured that these lawmakers would not be in the reckoning for the 6 cabinet posts, as dozen MLAs are already pitching for them.

Nagaraj and Vishwanath lost in the December 5 by-elections, while Shankar was not given a ticket to contest in the by-poll but was assured of making him an MLC with another disgruntled member C.P. Yogeshwar, who lost in the 2018 May assembly polls to JD-S leader and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy of the 14-month-old JD-S and Congress coalition government from May 23, 2018 to July 23, 2019.

Resignations of 17 rebels, including 14 from the Congress and 3 from the JD-S led to the fall of the coalition government, as Kumaraswamy lost the majority in the 225-member assembly on July 23, 2019 in their absence.

Though Yediyurappa led the party to win 105 seats in the 2018 assembly elections and formed a government on May 17, 2018, he resigned 3 days later on May 19, 2018, as he fell 8-9 seats short of the halfway mark (113) for a simple majority in the lower house.

In a post-poll alliance, the JD-S and the Congress formed the coalition government to keep the BJP out of power in May 2018, after the assembly elections gave split verdict and the Congress lost power then.

"The record victory of the ruling party in the May 2019 general elections, when 25 of its 27 contestants won out of 28 Lok Sabha seats from the state, reinforced the popular belief that Yediyurappa is the party's mascot in winning elections and an unquestionable leader of the politically dominant Lingayats in the state," the source pointed out.

When Yediyurappa left the BJP and floated a regional outfit (Karnataka Janata Party) in January 2013, he delivered a body blow to the BJP in the May 2013 state assembly polls, as the votes got split and was defeated by then Congress.

"Besides the party's high command, everyone in the party's state unit, including leaders and cadres are aware of Yediyurappa's popularity across the state, as has the wherewithal to connect with masses and win elections," the source added.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.