Police in the south Indian state of Kerala have arrested a Roman Catholic bishop accused of raping a nun, a day after the Vatican accepted the bishop's request to be temporarily relieved of his duties. He had complained of pain in his chest while being taken to Kottayam Police club from the Crime Branch office in Thrippunithura in Ernakulam district Friday night, PTI reported.
Sources, however, said the police were in possession of the guest register of the facility in Kuravilangad in which an entry regarding the bishop's visit on May 5, 2014, had been made.
"After examining him only a decision will be taken".
In the complaint she has alleged that Mulakkal raped and subjected her to unnatural sex 13 times during 2014 to 2016 at a convent in Kuravilangad. The nun also said that Catholic Church officials had ignored her complaints, prompting her to go to the police.
The "Save Our Sisters" forum, which is spearheading a protest by a group of nuns in Kochi, expressed disappointment over the delay in the arrest of the bishop. The five nuns who were taking part in the protest welcomed the arrest of the bishop and said they would end their agitation for the time being.
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The nun has reportedly faced backlash for reporting the bishop to authorities.
"At first I had reported the attack to the superiors in the church, but after my call for justice fell on deaf ears, I was forced to report the crime to the Police", the nun proclaimed, according to BPCA.
Mulakkal, who is the bishop of the northern Indian city of Jalandhar, has denied the accusations. The statement said that the nuns have been influenced by some people to take such a step.
The development came a day after the Vatican relieved him "temporarily" of all pastoral responsibilities as the bishop of the Jalandhar diocese of the Missionaries of Jesus congregation to which the alleged victim also belongs. "Even if he is accused of rape, he is still our guru", he said.
Like on Wednesday, Inspector General Vijay Sakhre, Harishankar and his deputy K. Subhash held a meeting at the IG office in Kochi ahead of the interrogation.