Kerala police questioned a priest for 5 hours in Jalandhar, he was accused for raping a nun. The questioning which began Monday night continued till early this morning.
The nun from Kerala filed a complaint saying that Bishop Franco Mullackal sexually abused her 13 times between 2014 and 2016. Later Bishop filed a counter complaint, accusing the nun and her family of threatening and blackmailing him.
Kerala police told the High Court on Monday, that Bishop repeatedly raped the nun for almost two years, between May 2014 and September 2016.
The Bishop is likely to be questioned again. His mobile phone and other evidences submitted by him have been taken for further examination.
“After verifying his part of the story, further steps will be taken. This is an old case so we are collecting more evidence,” police officer K Subhash said.
Ahead of the questioning several media persons were allegedly assaulted by a group of private security guards at the Bishop House in Jalandhar.
It’s been 48 days since the arrest of Bishop Franco Mullackal, but he is yet to be arrested. The Bishop has claimed innocence and will take actions against the nun.
The investigating officer’s statement of fact before the court, accessed by NDTV, says, “It is revealed that the accused Bishop Franco committed unnatural offence and committed rape repeatedly on different dates from 05/05/2014 – 23/09/2016 – against her (nun’s) will and consent, by abusing his dominance over her as bishop of Jalandhar after confining her in the guest room of the convent.”
On Monday, the police gave the status of the case to court, including the statements of three top catholic priests, two Bishops and a Cardinal. The police was responding to a petition by Kerala Catholic Church Reformation Movement seeking speedy investigation in the case.
The police told the High Court that they have issued a lookout circular last month so that the Bishop could not fly out of India. “The statement of the doctor who conducted the medical test on the survivor was also recorded in which she says there is evidence of sexual assault,” the police told the court.
Police have also questioned and recorded the statements of several nuns who lived in the same place. Police have also questioned the father of the nun, who wrote a letter to him saying, “My life is in danger and if anything happened to her, Bishop Franco is responsible for her misery.” Police also say that the nuns who lived there were aware of what the happenings.
The police said the statements of a couple from Delhi who are prime witness is also recorded on August 3.