Bishop Franco Mulakkal Hospitalised After Complaining Of Chest Pain

SIT resumes quizzing bishop in nun rape case

Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal was arrested in Kochi on Friday after three days of an intense questioning at the crime branch in Thrippunithura.

Police had sought a legal opinion as to whether Mulakkal, whose anticipatory bail plea is pending before the high court, could be arrested. The nun had filed a complaint in June alleging that she was sexually assaulted by the bishop multiple times between 2014 and 2016 in the Kuravilangad convent in Kerala.

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. "We are very happy. the Vatican has finally heard our prayers", said one of the nuns. Agitations have been on for days, after there was a delay in the Kerala Police acting on the complaint.

"In my absence, Mathew Kokkandam will administer the diocese as in the normal practice when I am away", bishop Mulakkal said in a September 13 circular, reported NDTV.

Punjab Christian Movement members outside the Bishop house in Jalandhar Friday.

KOCHI  THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
KOCHI THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

According to India Today, the statement said, "The nun who has complained against the bishop has conspired in connivance with nine others, including five nuns, against the bishop".

The Vatican's decision was welcomed by the nuns protesting against Mulakkal, reported PTI. "He has been arrested under the pressure of the protest led by nuns".

A group of Catholic nuns launched a rare street protest nearly a fortnight ago in Kochi, the state's financial hub, demanding justice for the nun. "If the allegations are proved right, we are ready to boycott him".

"They are protecting the bishop in spite of sufficient proof", the protesters said. The investigation team is trying to frame Franco Mulakkal.

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