Kottayam: The team probing the alleged rape of a nun by a bishop of the Roman Catholic church will take action in the case “after they are fully convinced”, a police officer said. The mobile phone of the victim, a key evidence in the case, is also yet to be found, police said.
The probe team would have taken the next step in the investigation had they got “totally believable statements” in the case against Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, they said. Kottayam District Police Chief Hari Sankar said the team will leave for Jalandhar next week as part of the investigation.
The police cannot act merely on the basis of doubt regarding the incident that occurred four years ago, Sankar told PTI when asked about the alleged delay in the investigation into the case.”They will act only after they are fully convinced… We are trying our best (to gather evidence),” he said.
The mobile phone of the nun, which was supposed to be the source of evidence against the accused, is to be found, Sankar said.”We will be able to recover the data– like any sexually explicit messages even if they were deleted—if we get the mobile phone,” he said.
Police said they were not having “a fully transparent interaction” with the victim. “In some cases there won’t be complete evidence. But when we record statements we feel that there is truth. Because there is no contradiction in lines of common sense,” the police official said.
In her complaint to the Kottayam district police chief, the nun had accused Mulakkal of rape her and having unnatural sex multiple times at a small town near Kottayam between 2014 and 2016.
However, Mulakkal has claimed that he is innocent and said the truth would come out in the investigation. Clergymen supporting Mulakkal had said that the nun had filed the complaint against him after a priest, also an official of the Jalandhar diocese, filed one against her relatives for allegedly threatening the bishop.
In his complaint, the priest has alleged that the nun’s relatives threatened to kill Mulakkal after he ordered a probe against her on the basis of the complaint received by the Mother Superior of her congregation.
Last week, the nun complained to the National Commission for Women that the Kerala Police was “not working” in the case as the accused is a “highly-linked” person. NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma said the commission would extend all possible help to the nun in the case.