Kerala nun rape case: Franco Mulakkal arrested in Kochi

Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun is escorted by police outside a crime branch office on the outskirts of Kochi in the southern state of Kerala India

Catholic bishop accused of raping nun arrested by Indian police

Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of rape by a nun in Kerala, has been temporarily relieved of his pastoral responsibilities by the Vatican. Superintendent of Police, Kottayam, who is leading the interrogation team, had told the media on Thursday night that the interrogation will be wrapped up on Friday.

The bishop's anticipatory bail plea hearing at the Kerala High Court will take place on September 25.

DGP Lokanath Behera on Thursday asserted that there are no legal issues to arrest Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal over the nun's complaint of sexual abuse.

"The state government has always been with the victim and whosoever does a wrong - the wrongdoer will be taken to task", he said.

He wrote to the Vatican on Sunday asking to step down temporarily as protests and calls for his arrest grew in the state.

A team of Kerala Police headed by DSP K Subhash had travelled to Jalandhar to question the Bishop regarding the case.

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Speaking to the Associated Press , Marion County Coroner Jerry Richardson said, "They're both still under the water". Neither woman has an arrest record in SC , according to documents obtained from state police.

The protesters held a torchlight protest against the police delay in arresting the bishop even after two days of interrogation.

He was accused of raping a nun 13 times between 2014 and 2016. The victim nun had also reportedly said that the Bishop had been using his political and economic clout to brush off the case which has been lodged against him. "They are forcing people to hit the streets to press for justice". Earlier, speaking to reporters, Sister Anupama said there was an impression that the protest was against the Catholic Church but it was not so. However, their move did attract some strong criticism as The Missionaries of Jesus congregation, on September 10 condemned the protest by the five nuns. The statement has also said that the allegations against the bishop are completely baseless.

"He is charged with rape", said inspector general Vijay Sakhare in the city of Kochi.

On Saturday, he will be produce before the Pala magistrate court, and the police would File an application before the court, for three-day police custody for some further interrogation.

Mulakkal leaves for Crime Branch (CID) in Kochi where he will be interrogated by a 5-member team for the second day.

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