Kerala nun rape case: Accused Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal arrested, say reports

Frederick Owens
September 22, 2018

Indian police on Friday arrested a Catholic bishop accused by a nun of repeatedly raping her over a period of two years.

Kochi: Priest Franco Mulakkal, who has been grilled by the Kerala Police over allegations of rape and unnatural sex levelled by a nun, Friday reached the Crime Branch office in Thrippunithura for questioning for the third day. He was interrogated by a five-member CID team led by Vaikom Deputy Superintendent of Police K Subash.

At the same time, the protesting nuns expressed hope at the intervention of the Vatican and the removal of the accused priest from the charge of the diocese of Jalandhar. In the letter, Mulakkal said he needed time to fight his case and to travel to Kerala, where he is being interrogated by the police. Earlier, a case was registered against the Missionaries of Jesus for circulating the photograph of the rape victim.

The protest has gathered momentum with Christian bodies, activists, writers and locals joining in and notching up demand for the bishop's arrest.

Communist Party of India-Marxist state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan mounted a sharp attack on the agitating nuns who have been on a sit-in near the Kerala High Court for the last 13 days.

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There were alleged attempts to get the nun to withdraw the complaint.

She wrote: "We experience neglect from every side".

While the cleric has been served a notice to appear before a probe team for interrogation on September 19, the investigation has already been stretched to over 70 days.

The woman, 44, filed a police complaint in June, after claiming the Catholic Church had taken no action despite repeated appeals. The bishop tried to trap our sister (who accused him of rape) in fabricated cases and threatened her with dire consequences if she complained against the abuse, " said Sister Anupama, one of the protesting nuns.

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