After three days of interrogation that exceeded over 23 hours, the Special Investigation Team probing the alleged rape of a nun belonging to the Missionaries of Jesus congregation on Friday arrested Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal accused of the crime.
The bishop was taken in a police vehicle to the Thripunithura taluk hospital for medical examination.
He would be presented before the Magistrate Court, Pala, in Kottayam district, on Saturday. The police have decided to seek three days’ custody for further interrogation.
Kottayam SP Harishankar told reporters that the arrest came after it was established that the rape charge was “reasonably true.”
The bishop has been charged under four counts including rape, illegal confinement and criminal intimidation.
The contention of the accused that the allegation against him was the outcome of a conspiracy had collapsed in the face of the evidence collected by the police and the information gathered after questioning.
He was given reasonable time to have his say and arrested after the contradictions in the evidence given by the nun, the bishop and others were ironed out, the SP said.
Kerala had witnessed a huge public outcry and an unprecedented public protest by five fellow nuns of the victim seeking the bishop’s arrest. Social activists, a majority of them women, jurists, lawyers, writers and artists had come out in support of their agitation.
The nuns called off their agitation late on Friday following his arrest. The bishop has since been admitted to the Kottayam Government Medical College Hospital on account of high blood pressure.