Kerala police asks Jalandhar bishop to appear before probe team

September 12, 2018

The nun had recently sought urgent intervention of the Vatican for justice and demanded the bishop’s removal as the head of the Jalandhar diocese
The police team probing the alleged sexual abuse of a nun has summoned Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Jalandhar to Kerala for interrogation on September 19.

The decision to serve the notice under Cr.PC Section 41 was taken at a meeting convened by Inspector-General of Police (Kochi range) Vijay Sakhare here on Wednesday.

The meeting was attended by Hari Sankar, Superintendent of Police, Kottayam, and K. Subash, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Vaikom, who is heading the investigation team.

Confirming the move, Mr. Sakhare said a lot of contradictions had to be ironed out before a chargesheet was filed.

“The case pertains to an incident that took place a few years ago and it has been difficult to gather scientific evidence,” Mr. Sakhare said.

Mr. Sakhare said that discrepancies have to be sorted out in the rape allegation against Bishop Franco Mulakkal. He has been summoned to Kerala for interrogation.

“There are still a few contradictions that need to be clarified and ironing out these inconsistencies is crucial before filing the charge sheet or else it may help the accused,” the IG said.

The case is being reviewed on a day-to-day basis and a report regarding the progress of the investigation will soon be filed in the Kerala High Court, Mr. Sakhare added.

Official sources said the bishop would be subjected to interrogation by the Vaikom Deputy SP at Ettumanur police station, Kottayam.

Regarding a police complaint lodged by the victim that she had been facing threats to her life, the IG said adequate security had been given to both the victim and witnesses even before they received it.

Last month, the police team subjected the bishop to marathon interrogation at the Bishop House in Jalandhar. The police have also recorded statements of several persons. In response to a petition, the team had earlier told the Kerala HC that the probe so far revealed that Franco Mulakkal had raped the nun on several occasions at the guest room of the St. Francis Mission Home at Kuruvilangad.

Source : The Hindu

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