Herald: Kerala police summons rape-accused Jalandhar bishop to appear on Sep 19

Kerala police summons rape-accused Jalandhar bishop to appear on Sep 19

13 Sep 2018 04:52am IST
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13 Sep 2018 04:52am IST

PTI, KOCHI: The Kerala police Wednesday summoned Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar diocese to appear before it on September 19 in connection with the probe into allegations of rape by a nun amid mounting pressure for action against him and continuing protests.

Announcing the decision to summon the clergyman after a meeting where the probe in the case was reviewed, Inspector General of police Vijay Sakhare said the delay in completing the investigation was due to "contradictions" in the statements given by the victim, the witnesses and the accused.

Sakhare said a decision on arresting the bishop could be taken only after ironing out the contradictions in the statements.

The review meeting also finalised the affidavit to be submitted on Thursday in the Kerala High Court, which had earlier this week directed the state government to inform it of the steps taken by the Special Investigating Team(SIT). The meeting, chaired by Sakhare, was also attended by Kottayam District Superintendent of Police Harisankar and Vaikom Deputy Superintendent of Police K Subhash, who is heading the SIT probing the case.

"Bishop Franco Mulakkal has been summoned by the investigating officer (IO). He has been asked to appear before the IO on September 19," Sakhare told reporters.

The bishop, who was already questioned by the state police in Jalandhar last month, is expected to be interrogated in Kottayam.

The summons came as the protests by various Catholic Reform organisations and some nuns in Kochi seeking justice for the victim entered the fifth day Wednesday and a plea made before the Kerala High Court seeking a CBI probe.

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