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Kerala summons Jalandhar Bishop for questioning
By AM Abdussalam September 13, 2018
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KOCHI: After dilly-dallying for months, Kerala police finally decided to sent notice to Jalandhar Bishop, who is facing allegations of rape levelled by a nun, to appear for interrogation.

According to Inspector General of police Vijay Sakhare, Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar diocese has been asked to appear before the investigating team on Sept.19 for questioning.

A meeting chaired by Sakhare, who is heading the investigation team, and attended by Kottayam District Superintendent of Police Harisankar and Vaikom Deputy Superintendent of Police K Subhash, decided to summon the clergyman, after 75 days of receiving the complaint from the nun. Sakhare said that they have evaluated the investigation till date and found the statements of the nun, bishop and witnesses contradictory.

The campaign seeking speedy action against the tainted bishop is gaining momentum with more organisations and celebrities coming forward with support.

Apart from taking the struggle to the street the protesting nuns have also sent letters to the Pope seeking urgent intervention of the Vatican for justice. The letter by the victim also demanded the bishop’s removal as the head of the Jalandhar diocese.

In the letter to the Vatican that was made available to the media on Tuesday, the nun also asked whether the Church would be able to give back what she has lost. She alleged that Bishop Franco Mulakkal was using “political and money power” to bury the case against him.

In her initial complaint with the police, she had accused the clergyman of sexually assaulting her repeatedly between 2014 and 2016.

The bishop had, however, dismissed the allegations as ‘baseless and concocted and the result of conspiracy against the Church.’

On Monday, the Kerala High Court had sought action taken report from the state government regarding the progress of the investigation.

“Law is above all other things and it will take its own course,” the court observed while considering the plea for action against the bishop.

The police affidavit filed in the Kerala High Court on August 10, revealed that the victim was repeatedly raped by the Bishop of Jalandhar, Franco Mulakkal. “During the course of the investigation so far conducted and the available evidences collected so far, it is revealed that the accused Bishop Franco committed unnatural offence and committed rape repeatedly on different dates,” the affidavit said.

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