Bishop Franco Mulakkal sent to police custody till 24 September; magistrate's court rejects bail plea

Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who has been accused of raping a nun multiple times between 2014 and 2016, was produced in a magistrate court in Pala on Saturday and has been sent to police custody till 24 September. His lawyer had filed for a bail application, which was dismissed by the court.

In its remand report, the police said that Mulakkal came to the convent with the intention of sexually assaulting the nun and on 5 May, 2014, he illegally confined her in Room 20 of the guest house at around 10.48 pm and "subjected her to unnatural sexual assault".

The police further said that the accused threatened the nun with dire consequences if she ever revealed the incident. "He raped her the next day (6 May, 2014) as well. Between 2014-2016, the victim was subjected to rape and unnatural sex 13 times in the same room," the remand report stated.

The bishop was arrested on Friday amid mounting public outrage over the allegations against him. He was arrested by the Kerala Police after intense interrogation over the last three days. The development came after the Vatican relieved him "temporarily" of all pastoral responsibilities as the bishop of the Jalandhar diocese of the Missionaries of Jesus Congregation.

The nun had accused the 54-year old bishop of repeatedly raping and having unnatural sex with her between 2014 and 2016. In her complaint to Kottayam police in June, the nun had alleged that Mulakkal raped her at a guest house in Kuravilangad in May 2014 and later sexually exploited her on several occasions.

Members of various Christian reformation organisations and also the nuns of the Missionaries of Jesus, who were staging a protest close to the Kerala High Court premises for the last 13 days for the bishop's arrest, erupted with joy as the news of his arrest broke.

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.

Earlier this month, the nun had written to the Vatican's representative in New Delhi, alleging that the bishop was using "political and money power" to "bury" the case and sought his removal.

The bishop too filed a complaint against the nun, claiming he was being blackmailed by her for not extending her favours.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Sep 22, 2018 14:55:25 IST