Bishop Franco Mulakkal Interrogated For 3rd Day By Kerala Police

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The SIT of Kerala police probing the case of alleged rape of a nun by a bishop resumed questioning him Thursday even as the state police chief said a decision on Franco Mulakkal's arrest could be taken in a day or two. He had complained of pain in his chest while being taken to Kottayam Police club from the Crime Branch office in Thrippunithura in Ernakulam district Friday night, PTI reported.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar, India, is led away for questioning by police September 19 on the outskirts of Cochin. "The police don't have any evidence", said front president George Soni. And there is no need for him to take any permission from anyone.

Claiming innocence, the bishop also said the complaint was "nothing but a fictional story" by the nun.

But police in the southern state of Kerala, home to India's largest Christian population, did not formally question him until September.

Sister Anupama, a Catholic nun who is participating in the stir seeking the arrest of the bishop, said the Vatican's decision was a sign that the Church was taking the side of the protesters who were seeking justice.

This is the first time in the country that a bishop has been arrested for rape.

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It described the reasons given by India for its "ill-considered" cancellation of the meeting as "entirely unconvincing". India has been maintaining that terror and talks can not go together. "They asked for a meeting and we said yes".

The nun has reportedly faced backlash for reporting the bishop to authorities. The statement said that the nuns have been influenced by some people to take such a step.

The nuns in Kochi protesting for the past 14 days demanding his arrest secured widespread support from the civil society.

Indian police arrested Mgr Franco Mulakkal, the bishop accused of raping a nun from the Missionaries of Jesus.

The bishop has not been charged, but has given interviews denying wrongdoing and saying he wanted to defend his name. "Rev. Bishop Franco Mulakkal to be temporarily relieved of his pastoral responsibilities in the Diocese of Jullundur", the bishop conference stated, according to BPCA.

"I'm ready to submit this before the investigation team".

Mr Sankar told reporters on Friday that the police would now investigate charges of rape, illegal confinement, unnatural sex and intimidation.

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