Amid outcry over delay in taking action, the Kerala police have said a Roman Catholic bishop from Jalandhar Franco Mullakal, who is facing rape charges by a nun, could be summoned for questioning this week.
“The Bishop may be summoned to Kerala for interrogation”, a senior police officer said.
According to the police, a further action would be taken after clearing doubts as there were a “lot of contradictions” in the statements given by the nun, witnesses and the accused.
The complainant had accused that Mullakal had raped her and had unnatural sex with her multiple times between 2014 and 2016.
According to preliminary investigations, the Bishop abused his position and repeatedly raped the nun.
The police told news agency PTI that a notice to the Bishop, urging him to appear before the probe team, was likely to be issued this week.
The police, however, rejected the allegations that the police were helping the accused Bishop.
“A free and fair probe is on in the case,” he said.
Some reports also suggest that independent MLA PC George is in trouble as the Kottayam police have initiated action against him for using ‘abusive language’ against an alleged victim.
Recently, National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma also lashed out at the MLA for his remarks. Sharma had said that the commission would be writing to Kerala DGP Lokanath Behera to take action against such lawmakers.
Meanwhile, reports from Kottayam said police have initiated action against independent MLA P C George who had levelled derogatory charges against the victimised nun.
According to the news agency, the Kottayam district police chief directed the head of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to take the statement of the nun in connection with George’s charges against her.
George, however, continued his allegations against the victim and her five fellow nuns, who staged a public protest in Kochi, seeking justice in the case.
Talking to reporters at his residence in Poonjar, George said he had certain doubts on the real victim in the case.
“Who is the real victim? The nun or the Bishop? he asked.
Meanwhile, many political parties and leaders came out in support of the nun.
Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala said there were charges that the probe was proceeding very slowly.
“Police have not completed the probe even 76 days after registering the case. It is a serious issue.