Nun rape: Bishop sent to 2-day police custody

Kottayam: Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who has been arrested for raping a nun, was on Saturday refused bail by a Kerala court and sent to two-day’s police custody.

The bishop would be kept at the Kottayam Police Club till Monday, when he would be again produced at a court in Pala, near here, a police officer said.

Mulakkal, who headed the Roman Catholic Diocese in Jalandhar, Punjab, was arrested on Friday in Tripunithura after three days of questioning in a sexual abuse case filed by a nun who accused him of repeatedly raping her between 2014 to 2016.

The bishop’s counsel told the court that his client’s blood sample and saliva were forcefully taken.

The police said that Mulakkal would be taken to the convent near here, where he is alleged to have raped the nun. He would also have to undergo a potency test.

Police had a tough time on Saturday controlling the crowd as people jeered at Mulakkal, who became the first bishop in the country to be arrested for rape.

Mulakkal was to be produced in court on Friday following his arrest. However, after he developed chest pains on the way to Kottayam from Tripunithura, he was admitted in the Kottayam Medical College hospital, where he stayed overnight.

He was discharged early on Saturday and produced in the court in the afternoon.

One of the five nuns who took to the streets in Kochi in an indefinite protest demanding the bishop’s arrest, on Saturday told the media: “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,” the nun added. The protest were called off on Saturday.