Indian Catholic bishop arrested on accusations of raping nun:The Asahi Shimbun

Arturo Kim
September 24, 2018

The SIT of Kerala Police probing the case of alleged rape of a nun by a bishop resumed questioning Bishop Franco Mulakkal on Thursday.

The nun from Kerala has accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who heads the Diocese of Jalandhar, of raping her repeatedly over a period of two years.

Police officer Hari Sankar told reporters on Friday that the police would now investigate charges of rape, illegal confinement, unnatural sex and intimidation.

Mulakkal will be sent before magistrate court tomorrow morning.

Bishop Mulakkal has been accused of raping a nun 13 times between 2014 and 2016, but he has always reiterated his innocence. He also called the issue an anti-Church conspiracy.

Franco Mulakkal was formally arrested after police questioned him for three days in the southern Indian city of Kochi.

The "Save Our Sisters" forum, which is spearheading a protest by a group of nuns in Kochi, expressed disappointment over the delay in the arrest of the bishop.

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Though the ongoing agitation demanding the arrest would be stopped but legal fight till the nun gets justice would still be continued, five nuns said. "It's been 74 days since she gave a complaint, but other than the police questioning the victim, we don't see any other progress".

The Catholic Church in India has reportedly "reprimanded" nuns who have participated in a sit-in protest for the alleged victim. The government is with the nuns staging the protest. "We suspect he used money for personal purposes", he said. The statement has also said that the allegations against the bishop are completely baseless.

Inspector General Vijay Sakhre, Kottayam Superintendent Harishankar and his deputy K. Subhash held a meeting at the IG office in Kochi ahead of the interrogation.

What does the police have to say?

The 44-year-old woman, a member of the order of Missionaries of Jesus, filed a police complaint against Mulakkal in June.

The Sept. 21 arrest, reported by the British news agency Reuters, came a day after Pope Francis accepted the bishop's request to be relieved of his duties during the investigation.

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