Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who has been arrested for allegedly raping a nun, on Saturday was sent to police custody till September 24, ANI reported. His bail application has also been dismissed. The 54-year-old was produced before a magistrate court earlier in the day.
He was discharged from the government hospital in Kottayam, where he was admitted following complaints of chest pain, PTI reported. He had complained of pain in his chest while being taken to Kottayam Police club from the Crime Branch office in Thrippunithura in Ernakulam district Friday night, PTI reported.
He was kept under observation in the cardiology section of the Medical College Hospital for over six hours after his blood pressure shot up. ECG and other cardiac-related tests were also performed. His condition is said to be normal at present.
Mulakkal, who holds a doctorate in moral theology, is the first Indian Catholic bishop to be arrested in a rape case.
After three days of interrogation, Mulakkal was arrested Friday night. Police sources said while Mulakkal, during interrogation, stuck to his claim that he did not rape the nun, he was arrested following contradictions in his statements, circumstantial evidence, statements of witnesses, and the nun’s statement under Section 164 of the CrPC.
In June, a nun had complained that Mulakkal had raped her 13 times at the mission house in Kottayam district, over a period of two years from May 5, 2014. She had said she had to approach the police as the church authorities did not act even after repeated complaints. While the police registered a case in Kottayam on June 28, the probe against him dragged on for nearly three months.
According to sources, Mulakkal denied that he went to the mission house on May 5, 2014, the day on which he allegedly raped the nun for the first time. However, sources said, police have a statement from the driver who reportedly drove him there that evening. While Mulakkal reportedly claimed that he went to another convent that day, the superior of that convent is learnt to have denied this. The visitors’ register at the mission house also shows that Mulakkal was there on the days mentioned by the nun, said sources.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines