Nun rape case: Charged bishop interrogation entered third day

Ernakulam, Kerala: The interrogation of bishop Franco Mulakkal, who has been accused by a Kerala nun of raping her, got under way for the third day at the hi-tech interrogation cell in the Crime Branch (CB) office at Tripunithura in Kochi on Friday.

The bishop arrived in a police convoy of three police vehicles from hotel Crowne Plaza at Kundannoor where he had been put up over the last couple of days, at 10:39 a.m.

The bishop is accused of raping a nun multiple times at a convent at Kuravilangad in Kottayam district between 2014 and 2016.

Kottayam Superintendent of Police Hari Sanker, who is leading the interrogation team, told journalists on Thursday night that the interrogation would be wrapped up on Friday. The bishop has been interrogated for over 15 hours in the last two days.

Three police teams were sent out to undisclosed places on Thursday night for what Mr. Sanker said was “for verifying about 10 per cent of the details revealed by the bishop during the interrogation.”

Whether that verification has been completed is not immediately known, though Mr. Sanker had said that it would be wrapped up overnight and the findings available by the time interrogation gets under way on Friday.

The verification results might have come up at a meeting Vijay Sakhare, Inspector of Police, Ernakulam Range, had with Mr. Sanker ahead of Friday’s interrogation.

The police may have to take a decision on whether or not to arrest the bishop, who was relieved of his responsibilities as the head of the Jalandhar diocese by the Vatican on Thursday.

A plea of anticipatory bail moved by the bishop is set to come up for hearing before the High Court next week and that is also likely to be a factor to be considered by the police before taking any decision on his arrest.

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