Indian police arrest bishop accused of raping nun in Kerala state

Indian police arrest bishop accused of raping nun in Kerala state

Indian police arrest bishop accused of raping nun in Kerala state

Kerala nun rape case: As per reports, prime accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal was arrested by the Kerala Police on Friday afternoon.

The woman, 44, filed a police complaint in June, after claiming the Catholic Church had taken no action despite repeated appeals. However, sources said, police have a statement from the driver who reportedly drove him there that evening. The visitors' register at the mission house also shows that Mulakkal was there on the days mentioned by the nun, said sources.

The senior priest is in Kerala after the state police summoned him for questioning related to the case.

Mulakkal wrote to the Vatican last Sunday asking to step down temporarily as demonstrations and calls for his arrest grew.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal was arrested on Friday evening, a day after Pope Francis relieved him from duty over the scandal, according to PTI who quoted local police official Vijay Sakhare.

The nun alleged that Mulakkal raped her at a guesthouse in May 2014 and later attacked her on several more occasions.

The bishop has not been charged, but has given interviews denying wrongdoing and saying he wanted to defend his name. Backed by activists and students, the nuns demanded the bishop be prosecuted. Nuns have been protesting in Kochi for 13 days. "Rev. Bishop Franco Mulakkal to be temporarily relieved of his pastoral responsibilities in the Diocese of Jullundur", the Catholic Bishop Conference of India said in a statement.

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.

Mr Sankar told reporters on Friday that the police would now investigate charges of rape, illegal confinement, unnatural sex and intimidation. However, the police reportedly submitted an affidavit which states that investigations so far reveal that the bishop had abused his position of power and raped the nun multiple times between 2014 and 2016.

The investigating team, meanwhile, are quizzing the bishop for the third consecutive day.

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