Kochi: Amid the mounting pressure to initiate action against a Roman Catholic Bishop accused of raping a Kerala nun, the police filed an affidavit in the Kerala High Court stating that Bishop Franco Mulakkal had committed unnatural offence and repeatedly raped the nun, reported news agency ANI.
“During the course of investigation so far conducted and the available evidences collected so far, it is revealed that the accused committed unnatural offences and committed rape repeatedly on different dates between 5/5/2018 and 23/09/2016 on the victim, against the will and consent of her by abusing his dominance over her as Bishop of Jalandhar after confining her in room number 20 of St Francis Mission Home Kuravilangad,” FirstPost quoted the affidavit as saying.
Meanwhile, the top police officials held a meeting on Wednesday to review the progress made in the case even as a clergyman of an influential Kerala diocese slammed the public trial in the matter.
Kottayam District Superintendent of Police Harisankar, Vaikom Deputy Superintendent of Police K Subhash, who is heading the special investigation team, and other officials attended the review meeting chaired by Ernakulam Range IG Vijay Sakhare in Kochi.
Before the meeting, being held amid allegations of attempts to sabotage in the case, Subhash told reporters that a notice may be issued to Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar diocese to appear before the investigating team.
The bishop has not been arrested despite the police telling the Kerala High Court last month that the bishop repeatedly raped the nun for almost two years.
The meeting by the police officials came after the Kerala High Court, on Monday, directed the state government to inform it of the steps taken by the special investigation team probing the case of alleged rape of the nun by the Bishop.
While considering a plea filed by George Joseph K of the Kerala Catholic Church Reformation Movement seeking a court-monitored probe into the case, the court had said, “Law is above all other things and it will take its own course.”
Meanwhile, agitation of various Catholic reformation organisations in Kochi seeking justice for the nun entered the fifth day Wednesday.
Many cultural icons in Kerala including noted poet Balachandran Chullikkad have supported the protest.
Leaders of the Mahila Congress, BJP and various rights organisations expressed solidarity with the protesters.
BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi questioned the inaction by state police and demanded immediate arrest of the accused bishop.
The nun had yesterday shot off a letter to the Vatican representative in India to sack the Bishop, claiming he was using “political and money power” to bury the case.
Making a fervent plea for urgent intervention, the nun, in a scathing letter, also sought to explain her silence before coming out against the bishop, saying she had “tremendous fear and shame” and wondered why the church was “closing its eyes towards the truth”.
Speaking to reporters in Jalandhar, the Bishop had said, “If I am found guilty, which I am not, I am likely to be punished… I will appear before police if I am summoned. I am a law abiding citizen.”