Catholic bishop in India arrested after being accused of raping nun

Bishop Franco Mulakkal accused of raping a nun leaves after questioning before the special investigation team of the Kerala police in Thrippunithura Wednesday

Catholic bishop accused of raping nun arrested by Indian police

Franco Mulakkal, the Catholic priest accused of raping a nun, has been arrested after the third straight day of questioning today by the police.

The nun wrote to Apostolic Nuncio, the representative of the Pope in India, demanding justice in the matter, following which the Vatican formed a one-member panel to probe the rape allegations against the priest. Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Agnelo Rufino Gracias, the Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Bombay, to take over the duties of Bishop Franco Mulakkal.

On Wednesday, police questioned him for 7 hours.

Hindustan Times reported the protesting nuns as saying that if the arrest isn't made immediately, their agitation is going to intensify even further. The officer said that an immediate decision could be taken once the questioning is completed.

Kochi: The Kerala police arrested Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of rape by a Kerala nun multiple times from 2014-2016 on Friday, following the third day of interrogation by the police officials, sources said. A plea of anticipatory bail moved by the bishop is set to come up for hearing before the High Court next week and that is also likely to be a factor to be considered by the police before taking any decision on his arrest. The nuns and their families are facing mental trauma and continuous pressure from the church, but they are keen to fight for their fellow sister. Mulakkal has maintained that the allegations against him were a "cooked up story to wreak vengeance" for the actions taken by him on various complaints received against the nun.

Reportedly, this is the first time in the Catholic church's history in Kerala that nuns have come out in protest against the church authorities and the police, who have been allegedly trying to delay the process of investigation and the resultant arrest. In a statement, the congregation said, "We strongly condemn the protest in Kochi. We can not crucify an innocent soul based on such allegations", reported News18.

Investigating team is examining him.

At a news conference in Kottayam, he claimed that he had photographs and videos of the nun with the bishop on the days after the alleged incident in which she "looked happy".

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