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Bishop Franco Mulakkal arrested in Kerala nun rape case

The Kerala Police today arrested bishop Franco Mulakkal for allegedly raping a nun multiple times between 2014 and 2016, a police source said. An official announcement is expected later. With this, Mulakkal has become the first Indian Catholic bishop to be arrested in a case of sexual abuse against a nun. The arrest was made on Friday afternoon in Kochi. He was being interrogated by the police for the past three days. Franco Mulakkal is posted at the Jalandhar Diocese and he allegedly raped the nun during official visits to Kerala. He has been relieved of his duties at the Jalandhar Diocese.

Franco Mulakkal, appeared before the special investigation team for questioning yesterday. The accused clergyman was interrogated by the Kerala police team on Wednesday for several hours and was asked to appear again at the crime branch office in Thrippunithura. The nun accused the senior Catholic priest of sexually assaulting her repeatedly between 2014 and 2016. The clergyman had claimed allegations against him were a “cooked up story to wreak vengeance” for the actions taken by him on various complaints received against the nun. Claiming innocence, the bishop had said the complaint was “nothing but a fictional story”. As the bishop joined the probe, protests by various Catholic reform organisations and a group of nuns seeking his arrest were being demonstrated.

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