Middle East

Kerala nun abuse case: High drama as police finally question bishop in Punjab

The nun had alleged that Bishop Franco sexually abused her several times at a convent in Kuruvalangadu

A nun at the churchs convent in Kuravilangad in Kottayam district had accused the bishop Franco Mulakkal (pictured) of sexually abusing her as many as 13 times.

Jalandhar: Kerala Police on Tuesday questioned Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Roman Catholic Diocese here in Punjab following allegations of sexually abusing a nun, an official said. No arrest has been made so far.

The Bishop's quizzing began late on Monday and ended on Tuesday morning.

There was high drama before questioning as the Bishop avoided meeting the Kerala team which reached Jalandhar, around 155 km from Chandigarh, on Friday.

The Kerala Police team also questioned Father Antony and Jalandhar Diocese Chief Public Relations Officer Father Peter.

Three journalists from Kerala also alleged manhandling by the Bishop's private security when they tried to speak to Mulakkal.

The Kerala Police team, which was given protection by their Punjab counterpart, arrived at the congregation of Missionaries of Jesus, the headquarters of Christian centres in the region, for investigation.

Earlier, the team met former nuns of the Jalandhar diocese on Friday and Saturday.

The Punjab Police, fearing law and order trouble, provided protection to the Kerala team.

Several followers of the diocese had gathered at its campus in Jalandhar on Friday after hearing about the arrival of the six-member Kerala police team, led by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) A.T. Subhash.

A nun had alleged in June that Bishop Franco Mulakkal sexually abused her several times at a convent in Kuruvalangadu near Kottayam in Kerala between 2014 to 2016.

An FIR was registered against the bishop and a 114-page detailed statement was taken from the nun and other inmates of the convent.

Mulakkal has denied any wrongdoing.

A spokesman for the diocese told the media that no wrong had been done by the bishop and that the allegations were being made by the nun at the instigation of people with vested interests.

Earlier, statements were taken from the Head of the Syro-Malabar Church Cardinal Mar George Alencherry and also a few other former nuns who were residents at the convent.

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