Kochi: The Kerala Police on Wednesday asked Bishop Franco Mullakal of Jalandhar diocese, who has been accused by a nun of raping her, to appear before the investigating team on September 19.Also Read - Separated Wife Need Not Take Husband's Consent For Terminating Pregnancy: High Court
“Bishop Franco has been asked to appear on 19th September. There are a lot contradictions in the case. This is an old case based primarily on oral evidence. We have verified a lot of contradictions. It’s our duty to protect the victim and witnesses,” Inspector General of police Vijay Sakhare was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. Also Read - Sexual Harassment Charge Will Not Stand If Woman Wears 'Provocative Dress': Kerala Court
The decision to summon the clergyman was taken after a meeting chaired by Sakhare, IG (Ernakulam range), which was also attended by Kottayam District Superintendent of Police Harisankar and Vaikom Deputy Superintendent of Police K Subhash amid mounting pressure on police to initiate action against Mullakal. Also Read - 90 Kerala Medical Students Studying in China Seek NMC's Favourable Response
Earlier in the day, 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.
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, questioning why the church was “closing its eyes to the truth” when she mustered courage to make public her sufferings.
In a scathing letter to the Vatican that was made available to the media Tuesday, the nun also asked will the Church 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.
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”, insisting she levelled those as the catholic order had rejected her demand for favours.