New Delhi: The accused in the Kerala nun rape case, Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal on Wednesday was quizzed for at least seven hours by crime branch officials and will be interrogated tomorrow as well, said Kottayam SP Harishankar. He was also shown black flags and his vehicle was blocked by agitators while he was leaving the crime branch office Kerala’s Tripunithura.

The All India Youth Federation, the youth wing of Communist Party of India, waved black flags and tried to block his vehicle. The interrogation will continue on Thursday with the clergyman being asked to reach the crime branch at 11 am. Meanwhile, Kottayam Superintendent of police Hari Sankar said the clergyman was cooperating with the investigation.

SP Sankar said, “The first phase of interrogation is over. He has been asked to be present tomorrow morning at 11 am for continued interrogation. He has agreed to it.”

The 54-year-old bishop was interrogated by Deputy Superintendent of Police K Subhash heading the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on the allegations levelled by the nun that Mulakkal sexually assaulted her repeatedly between 2014 and 2016.

On the other hand, Kottayam SP said, “We are under no pressure. We have conducted a detailed probe which was spread across five different states. There has been no directive that the bishop should not be arrested.”

Bishop Franco Mulakkal, the accused in the Kerala nun abuse case, stepped down on September 17 as he needs more time to fight his case and travel to the state, the Jalandhar Diocese. The administration said that Bishop Mulakkal had written to the Pope on September 16 and expressed his “desire to step down temporarily from the responsibilities of the diocese”.

The Bishop had denied the allegations saying that the nuns are being used by the anti-church elements. “I feel there are people who are against the church, they’re using these sisters. This is a conspiracy and several people are taking advantage of the situation, they are putting sisters at the forefront,” Franco Mulakkal had said.