Bishop in judicial custody till Oct 6

Police to intensify probe in three related cases

Published - September 25, 2018 12:36 am IST - KOTTAYAM

Bishop Franco Mulakkal, former head of the Catholic diocese of Jalandhar, under arrest in connection with the rape of a nun, has been sent to the sub jail by the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court at Pala. He will be under judicial custody till October 6.

The accused, whose police custody ended by 2.30 p.m. on Monday, was taken to the court by noon. His counsel prayed for bail pointing out that police had completed the investigation with which he had cooperated. The bishop’s counsel told the court that the dress he was wearing had been confiscated by the police and expressed concern that this could be exploited to concoct evidence. The bishop accused the police of collecting his body secretions without consent.

The police sought his judicial custody since there was a precedence of the accused intimidating the survivor and her supporters. The police did not seek further custody of the accused.

The accused was taken to the Pala sub jail by 2 p.m. under heavy security. He is housed in cell No. 3, along with two others charged with petty cases. He was examined by a team of doctors on Monday before being taken to the court.

Other cases

The special investigation team (SIT) led by K. Subhas, Dy.SP, Vaikom, is expected to now concentrate on three other related cases.

In one case, the survivor and her supporters had accused the bishop and his supporters of trying to mortally attack her. In another, the police had charged a case against those who had allegedly intervened on behalf of the bishop to settle the case by offering land and exclusive convent to the protesting nuns. In a third instance, the police have commenced proceedings against Sister Amala, the public relations officer for the Missionaries of Jesus, for releasing a photo of the survivor.

Kottayam District Police Chief Hari Sanker has directed the SIT to complete the investigation within a week.

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