Kerala police to quiz Jalandhar Bishop after nun’s statementhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/kerala-police-quiz-jalandhar-bishop-after-nuns-statement-rape-unnatural-sex-charge-5246325/

Kerala police to quiz Jalandhar Bishop after nun’s statement

The nun had told police that the Bishop had raped her and also subjected her to unnatural sex at the congregation’s convent-cum-mission house at Kuravilangad in Kottayam district for 13 times since April, 2014.

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The nun, who belongs to Jalandhar-based Catholic congregation Missionaries of Jesus, had told police that the Bishop had raped her and also subjected her to unnatural sex.

Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who has been booked on charges of rape and unnatural sex, will be questioned by the Kerala police only after the statement of the complainant, a Catholic nun, before a magistrate. The nun, who belongs to Jalandhar-based Catholic congregation Missionaries of Jesus, had told police that the Bishop had raped her and also subjected her to unnatural sex at the congregation’s convent-cum-mission house at Kuravilangad in Kottayam district for 13 times since April, 2014.

Deputy Police Superintendent K Subhash, the investigating officer in the case, confirmed that Bishop Mulakkal would be questioned only after the victim’s statement recorded before a magistrate. Police have moved an application with the court for the same, the Dy SP said, adding: “We haven’t decided on whether the Bishop should be summoned to Kerala or a team should go to Jalandhar.”

“The forensic examination at the convent and the room, identified as the place of occurrence, did not give any evidence to substantiate sexual abuse. The reported incidents had taken place at least two years ago. We have so far no solid evidence for rape, other than the statement of the nun,” police sources said.

Records with the convent, however, have revealed the Jalandhar Bishop was present at the place on the days he had allegedly abused the nun. The Bishop was the first to officially move a complaint with the police alleging threat to his life from the relatives of the victim and other nuns in Kottayam. However, it was revealed that the Bishop moved the complaint after attempts to pacify the nun had failed.

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The victim’s parish priest in Ernakulam district told media that representatives of the Jalandhar Bishop had sought his intervention to “settle the issue”. The priest said he had convened the victim and other nuns from the Kuravilangad house to discuss the issue. “I have advised them to settle the matter as the Church is already deep in scandals, but the Jalandhar diocese representatives failed to act before the end of June, the deadline fixed by the nuns,” said the priest.

On Wednesday, the family members of the victim told reporters that last year they had complained to the superiors of the Congregation about the “exploitation at the convent”. Besides, the Jalandhar diocese representatives had recently met them to discuss about the issues.

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