Kerala Nun Rape Case: Franco Mulakkal arrested

The Roman Catholic Priest of Jalandhar Diocese, who stepped aside as Bishop, has been arrested by Kerala Police after intense interrogation for three days over the sexual assault charge levelled by a nun of the same seminary against him, according to Indian Express report. Mulakkal was arrested after 5.00 PM and he will be produced before the magistrate at his residence, according to informed sources. The priest had earlier sent a letter to Vatican asking Pope Francis to temporarily relieve him of his responsibilities as the Bishop of Jalandhar Diocese.

The arrest comes a day after the Vatican had accepted his request and relieved Mullakkal of the administrative responsibilities of the Missionaries of Jesus, Jalandhar Diocese. Meanwhile, news agency, Press Trust of India has quoted senior Kerala Minister EP Jayarajan as saying, “Investigation is going in the right direction. The government is with the victim. The government is with the nuns staging the protest. Certainly, the government will take all necessary steps to identify the culprits and bring the guilty to book.”

The Kerala High Court will hear the bishop’s anticipatory bail plea on September 25, while it had also asked the Kerala Government to file an affidavit. Dismissing the allegations as baseless, the bishop had earlier termed it as a “conspiracy”, that has been hatched by a group of people who are against the church. What is more, the priest also accused the nun of lying. “The nun is lying, made up the case against me because I had ordered action against her. Police have no evidence against me that’s why they have not arrested me,” Mulakkal said. As early as June, this year, the nun from the same diocese lodged a police complaint against the congregation’s patron bishop Mulakkal, of raping her and subjecting her to unnatural sex on multiple occasions over two years since May 2014. A case was registered by the Kottayam police on June 28 and eventually, the policed grilled him for the last three days and the resultant arrest as well.