The Kerala Police has arrested priest Franco Mulakkal in connection with the allegations of rape and unnatural sex levelled against him by a nun after interrogating him at the Crime Branch office in Thrippunithura for three consecutive days.
According to CNN News18, following the arrest, the priest will be sent for a medical check-up.
The Vatican on Thursday divested Mulakkal, who was the bishop of the Jalandhar diocese of Missionaries of Jesus despite shedding his administrative role, of his pastoral responsibilities "temporarily".
Kottayam Superintendent of Police Hari Sankar had said the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case had decided to complete the interrogation on Friday. The former bishop, who was grilled for more than eight hours on Thursday, was directed to be present before the investigation team by 10.30 am on Friday.
Police had sought a legal opinion as to whether Mulakkal, whose anticipatory bail plea is pending before the high court, could be arrested. After the interrogation, the police had said verification was required in matters so far placed before the investigation team which would be completed by Friday morning.
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) had said on Thursday that Pope Francis had temporarily relieved Mulakkal of his pastoral responsibilities, a decision welcomed by the protesting nuns who termed the development as the "first victory" in their fight against the former bishop.
Mulakkal has been accused of repeated rape and sexual assault by the Kerala-based nun of Missionaries of Jesus Congregation of the Jalandhar diocese, but he has denied the allegations.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Sep 21, 2018 18:25:48 IST