Catholic bishop accused of repeatedly raping nun is arrested in India

Bishop Franco Mulakkal is escorted by police outside a crime branch office on the outskirts of Kochi

Image Bishop Franco Mulakkal is escorted by police on the outskirts of Kochi

The decision to arrest the Bishop will be taken post-interrogation, reported the daily. "A decision will be definitely taken today or tomorrow after the interrogation", Behera told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.

Police have sought a legal opinion as to whether Mulakkal, whose anticipatory bail plea is pending before the high court, can be arrested. The procedure that the law mandates, in a case involving non-bailable offences, is to arrest the accused and interrogate, once the accused is in custody.

The Allahabad High Court had severely reprimanded the Uttar Pradesh government and Uttar Pradesh Police for delaying the arrest of Unnao BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who is an accused in the Unnao rape.

A team of Kerala Police headed by DSP K Subhash had travelled to Jalandhar to question the Bishop regarding the case. Last week, a day after the Kerala Police summoned the Bishop for questioning on September 19, he handed over the administrative responsibilities of the Jalandhar Diocese to another senior priest. Meanwhile, police have tightened security in and around the crime branch office. "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. Some people also burnt an effigy of Mulakkal.

The Catholic bishop is accused of raping a nun 13 times between 2014 and 2016
Image The Catholic bishop is accused of raping a nun 13 times between 2014 and 2016

The nun in Kerala alleged that she was sexually abused by Franco Mulakkal 13 times between 2014 and 2016 during his visits to a convent in Kottayam district.

The lack of action provoked outrage, as five nuns - in a rare show of dissent within the Indian Church - and dozens of supporters staged days of protests.

Hours after Mulakkal, accused of repeated rape and sexual assault, appeared before the Special Investigation Team for interrogation, the state's DGP Loknath Behera said the investigating officer will decide on whether to arrest him once the examination got over. A bishop is interrogated over a sexual abuse complaint for the first time in India. Mulakkal has rejected the allegations, calling them a conspiracy against the church.

Tesco to launch new discount store chain in East of England
The first two stores are set to open on Thursday in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, and Immingham at formerly "mothballed" Tesco sites. Some items did seem cheaper in Jack's: olives were 10p cheaper and Cherry Bakewell box 30p cheaper than in Tesco.

Latest News