The family of a Catholic nun who was found hanged in northern India suspects there is some foul play involved in her death, reports say.
The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) tweeted on Thursday that the family of Sr. Mary Mercy have already asked the local police to probe into her death. The 30-year-old nun of the Franciscan Immaculate Sisters was said to be found hanging from the window of her convent's chapel, which is in the Punjab state and under the Diocese of Jalandhar.
"The family of a #Catholic nun who was found hanged in northern #India demands a police probe into her death after suspecting foul play," the UCA News said.
Diocese of Jalandhar Public Relations OFficer Fr. Xavier Kudiamseery said tat two days later, December 2, Mercy's body was brought to the St. Andrew's Basilica Parish, which is her home parish, in Alappuzha District that is south of Kerala.
Joseph Ouseph, Mercy's father, has already filed a complaint with the top government official of the Alappuzha District to demand that an investigation be conducted regarding her death. Ouseph raised the need for a second autopsy "to bring out the truth and ensure" justice for the family.
Ouseph said in the complaint that her daughter showed no indication nor gave reasons for her to take her life, such as "pressures that could force her to take the extreme step of suicide." Ouseph cited in the complaint that they were even able to talk to Mercy over the phone the night prior to her lifeless body being found.
Ouseph recalled his daughter being "jovial" and even excited about the coming holidays, as well as her own upcoming birthday.
"She was jovial and spoke about buying Christmas gifts and about planning for her birthday on Dec. 2. The conversation ended with a promise to call on her birthday," Ouseph disclosed.
In addition, Ouseph pointed out that the convent did not even provide information that could justify their claims of suicide since she was not sick physically or mentally.
"The convent has not explained to me the situation that led to her death," Ouseph remarked in the complaint.
Franciscan Immaculate Sisters Delegate Vicar Sr. Maria Indira conveyed in an official statement released to the media that there was any possibility of foul play with Mercy's death. Indira disclosed that Mercy left a suicide note, which was directed to her family and her congregation whom she asked forgiveness from "for taking the extreme step."
According to the Tribune India, the suicide note was written in Malayalam and was found by local authorities not in the chapel but in the apartment Mercy was staying at. The note revealed that the nun was suffering from depression.
"She had written that she wanted to end her life due to loneliness and depression. She apologized to her parents, companion sisters and chaplain for taking the extreme step and not continuing to fulfill her commitment to serve the church till the end of her life," Tribune India said.
Autopsy report conducted by the Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital confirmed that Mercy died from "asphyxiation due to hanging." Local police has already started its investigations to find out the actual circumstances that led to her death.