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Posted at: Jul 15, 2018, 2:24 AM; last updated: Jul 15, 2018, 2:24 AM (IST)

Rape case: Kerala cops to question Bishop in Jalandhar

Deepkamal Kaur

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 14

A team of the Kerala police will be visiting the city next week to interrogate Bishop Franco Mulakkal, Catholic Bishop of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, against whom they had registered an FIR for allegedly raping a nun. 

Now based in Kerala, the victim was earlier superior general of a congregation, Missionaries of Jesus, Jalandhar Cantonment. Confirming the development over the phone, Hari Sankar, District Police Chief, Kottyam, said: “We have already been working on collecting evidence in the case. The 13 occasions, mentioned by the nun regarding abuse by the Bishop, tally with his visitor log book entries at the convent. We have been told that the Bishop was also sending her indecent messages.”

The Kerala police have taken the mobile phones of both the nun and the Bishop into custody. When contacted, Bishop Franco said: “I have never sent any personal message to the nun. I always made calls for official works whenever I had to. My relation with her was limited only to work. The complainant has smartly filed the complaint after checking dates from the log book. I will be glad to give my version to the Kerala police.”

With cross-FIR filed by the Bishop against the nun, there are allegations and counter-allegations between the two.

The Bishop said: “How can I rape her 13 times over two years (2014-16) and she would still be happily accompanying me to religious programmes?” 

The Tribune talked to Father Sebastian Pallasery, a cousin of the nun in Kerala. He said: “The victim is under depression. She is a nun and he was the authority. She kept bearing it till she finally gathered courage to say no. That was in 2016 and the Bishop never went there after that.”

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