ALLEGED Rapist Bishop Mulakkal Arrested

THE Kerala Police on Friday arrested Bishop Franco Mulakkal after prolonged interrogation for allegedly raping a nun multiple times between 2014 and 2016.An official announcement is expected later, says India TV .With this, Mulakkal has become the first Indian Catholic bishop to be arrested in a case of sexual abuse against a nun. The arrest was made in Kochi. He was being interrogated by the police for the past three days. According to the victim Franco Mulakkal is posted at the Jalandhar Diocese and he had allegedly raped her during official visits to Kerala. He has been relieved of his duties at the Jalandhar Diocese. He has been temporarily relieved of his pastoral responsibilities by Pope Francis, the Catholic Bishop Conference of India (CBCI), said .The Pope appointed Bishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Bombay Agnelo Rufino Gracias as the Apostolic administrator of the diocese of Jalandhar with immediate effect, a CBCI statement said. The announcement came even as the senior Catholic priest was questioned by the Special Investigation Team (SIT)  for the second day .The Pope took the decision in response to Mulakkal’s September 16 letter offering to “step aside temporarily” as the Bishop of the Jalandhar diocese, Kerala Catholic Bishops Council Spokesman Fr Varghese Vallikkattu told media. He wrote the letter after Kerala police summoned him to appear before it for questioning in the case. Bishop Mulakkal has been accused of repeated rape by the Kerala-based nun of Missionaries of Jesus Congregation of the Jalandhar diocese.  He had denied the charges. The affected Nun was also interrogated. Before arresting the bishop, the police recorded a fresh statement of the nun who has accused him of rape. They also sought clarifications on some evidences.

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