Kerala nun rape case: Accused Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal arrested, say reports

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This is the second police interrogation that bishop Mulakkal will face in connection with the alleged crime. He was interrogated by a five-member CID team led by Vaikom Deputy Superintendent of Police K Subash.

But police in the southern state of Kerala, home to India's largest Christian population, did not formally question him until September. However, police can still arrest him if it has sufficient evidence, they said.

He would be produced in a magistrate court in Pala in Kottayam district tomorrow, Inspector General of Police (Kochi Range) Vijay Sakhare told PTI.

Earlier, Mulakkal's medical check up was done at the Government Taluk Hospital in Thrippunithura Friday night, immediately after his arrest. The letter has been confirmed by Father Peter Kavumpuram, the Public Relations Officer of Diocese of Jalandhar.

Mulakkal, who holds a doctorate in moral theology, is the first Indian Catholic bishop to be arrested in a rape case. The decision to arrest the Bishop will be taken post-interrogation, reported the daily.

The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Jalandhar, Punjab, was questioned for seven hours near here at the Crime Branch office. Backed by activists and students, the nuns demanded the bishop be prosecuted.

He was accused of raping a nun 13 times between 2014 and 2016. She said she had to approach police because church authorities did not act on her complaints.

The bishop has given interviews denying wrongdoing.

A number of priests and nuns have been protesting against the bishop in Kerala.

The findings of the internal probe also sparked another controversy as the congregation ousted the survivor nun's image, which evidently violates Indian laws.

The minister's statement came a day after Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, the state secretary of Kerala's ruling CPI (M), said the protest by nuns in front of the high court for Mulakkal's arrest was "ill-motivated".

The Vatican typically does not announce temporary changes, only permanent resignations by bishops, after they are accepted by the pope and become official.