Kerala nun’s suicide: father cries foul play

August 12th, 2008 - 4:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 12 (IANS) The father of a nun who committed suicide at Kollam Tuesday alleged that his daughter was “mentally and physically tortured at the convent”. Pappachan, a cook who works at the Bishop’s house at Kollam, alleged that his daughter Anupa Mary, a nun at the St Mary’s Convent at Kollam, committed suicide Monday after she was made to do all the chores in the convent and was sexually harassed by the head of the convent.

He was speaking to reporters Tuesday after coming here with the body of his daughter for a post-mortem examination. He lashed out at the Mother Superior of the convent for allegedly torturing his daughter.

“She was mentally and physically tortured by the head of the convent. She was made to do all the chores in the convent and in the night she was sexually harassed by the head of the convent. This was happening for the past two months and I came to know about it only after she committed suicide,” said Pappachan.

Mary, 24, committed suicide Monday evening by hanging herself in the convent.

She had come to the convent May 27 and was a member of the Vimala Hridya Franciscan congregation.

The police has recovered a suicide note from her room in which she had written that she is finding it difficult to adjust to the new surroundings and also expressed her difference of opinion with the head of the convent.

M.R. Ajithkumar, superintendent of police, Kollam told IANS that investigations have commenced and all aspects would be probed.

“This allegation I have heard only today (Tuesday) and on television. Yesterday (Monday) when we took the statement from Pappachan, he did not level this allegation. Anyway now that he has publicly aired this, we will take his statement again. I have asked the investigation officers to look into all aspects. Now we are waiting for the post-mortem report,” said the police official.

Pappachan said that his wife and another daughter of his were aware of Mary being tortured.

“I will go to any extent to see that the truth is revealed,” said the dejected father.

State Women’s Commission chairperson D. Sreedevi reacted to the events by saying that a detailed probe should be conducted.

“Our observation, which we had made sometime back, that in convents inmates are being ill-treated, appears to be correct,” said the former judge.

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