Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, July 14
Even as the local Health Department authorities today confirmed that the nun rape case accused, Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar Diocese, had tested Covid positive, most people following his case in the Kerala court are finding it hard to believe as the report came hours after non-bailable arrest warrants were issued against him.
Mulakkal tested positive late last evening. His bail cancellation and orders to issue warrants of arrest also came yesterday, after the prosecution lawyer told the court in Kerala that he was not living in any containment zone in Jalandhar and that he had misled the court.
Mulakkal was learnt to be unwilling to shift to a hospital and had been pleading that he be allowed home quarantine at the Bishop House in Civil Lines area here. Several priests, who are siding with the victim nun, have said the sequence of events — his previous false submissions in the court and the fact that he cannot be taken to Kerala anytime soon — made them suspect that this could be a part of another plan to evade arrest. “Our suspicion is based on the fact that even as Mulakkal tested positive last evening, no one from the Health Department reached out to anyone in the Bishop House. No sanitisation or contact tracing, as per the procedures, has been done. The drivers kept going in and out the whole day today and no one stopped them. The administrative Bishop who lives in the same House, Bishop Agnelo Rufian Gracias, organised an ordination ceremony at Patti in Tarn Taran today. Five other priests and nearly 30 staff members in the Bishop House too were seen shuttling in and out throughout the day,” a close follower stated.
Jai Inder Singh, SDM, Jalandhar-1, said health teams would visit the Bishop House tomorrow to do the testing and follow other protocols as per the SOPs.
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