Nun rape: Arrested bishop to be produced before Kerala court

Kottayam: Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who has been arrested in a nun rape case, will be produced in a Kerala court on Saturday, police said.

Mulakkal, who headed the Roman Catholic Diocese in Jalandhar, Punjab, was arrested on Friday in Tripunithura after three days of questioning. He was to be produced in a Kottayam court the same day.

However, on the way he developed chest pains and had to be admitted in a hospital barely 10 km away from Kottayam.

After spending the night in the Cardiology Department of the state-run Kottayam Medical College hospital, the doctors decided to discharge him on Saturday.

As he stepped out, the public jeered at him. Mulakkal would be kept at the Kottayam Police Club till the time he was produced, the police said.

This is first time in the country that a bishop has been arrested for rape and the police have charged him for illegal confinement, rape, unnatural sex and criminal intimidation.

The action came after a nun complained that she was raped several times between 2014-16. The crime had occurred at a convent in Kottayam district.

The police probe team has till 8 p.m. to produce the bishop.

Mulakkal’s counsel would be moving a bail plea, while the police would seek his custody for three days.

The five nuns who took to the streets in Kochi in an indefinite protest demanding the bishop’s arrest, on Saturday told the media the protest would be called off.

“This protest would not have taken place, had our church authorities taken our complaints seriously.

“We never did this for our benefit, instead we wanted to ensure that there would never be another bishop like Mulakkal who would turn a tormentor,” said a nun before leaving to the protest venue.