Kerala Police questions priest Franco Mulakkal accused of raping nun; top official claims no restriction on his arrest
Franco Mulakkal, who has been accused of rape, had earlier on Tuesday got relief from the Kerala High Court which agreed to hear his anticipatory bail plea on 25 September.
Tripunithura: The Kerala Police on Wednesday started questioning accused priest Franco Mulakkal accused of raping a nun, as a top police officer said there is no restriction on his arrest.
Ahead of the questioning, top police officers — Inspector General Vijay Sakhre, Kottayam Superintendent Harishankar and his deputy K. Subhash held a meeting at the IG office in Kochi.
"We are under no pressure. We have conducted a detailed probe which was spread across five different states. There has been no directive that the bishop should not be arrested," said Harishankar.
The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Jalandhar, accompanied by his counsel and a few priests, arrived in a car earlier to the Crime Branch office near Tripunithura. The police ensured that the media could not get close to him or even take his picture.
According to the police, Tripunithura located on the outskirts of Kochi, was chosen as the venue to avoid the protests underway in Kochi over the last 12 days.
The priest on Tuesday got a relief from the Kerala High Court which agreed to hear his anticipatory bail plea on 25 September. The court also asked the state government to file an affidavit.
A Kerala nun has accused Mulakkal of repeatedly sexually abusing her between 2014 and 2016. An FIR was registered against the priest and a 114-page detailed statement was taken from the nun and other inmates of the convent.
Mulakkal was questioned by the police team led by Subhash in August at his Jalandhar office.
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The court said that since the matter is still in the civil court in Wayanad district, it would not be proper for it to enter into the finding on the rights of the people residing in the convent, as requested by the petitioner