Kerala police step up security at convent

Meanwhile, the questioning and arrest –if needed – of the Bishop could be delayed further.

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The Kerala police has decided to put the Missionaries of Jesus Congregation’s Convent at Kuravilangad in Kottayam district under tight security following an Intelligence report that a senior nun who has charged Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Latin Catholic Church of raping her is facing threats from his supporters even as reports said that the arrest of the prelate could be delayed further.

The decision to provide round-the-clock security to the convent where the nun is staying was reportedly taken on the basis of an Intelligence report from the special branch of the Kerala police. Rumours have been doing the rounds for the past few days that the nun is facing threats from the supports of the Bishop for dragging him into a sex scandal.

Believers had come out in support of the Bishop and against him the other day apart from a war already going on through social media platforms over the issue. “I don’t know if there is such an Intelligence report. But the police should have provided security for the convent much earlier because of the peculiarity of the case,” said an influential member of the Latin Catholic laity.

As per the complaint the 48-year-old nun had lodged with the police, Bishop Mulakkal had raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016 using threats. In her statements to the police and before a Magistrate, she said the Bishop had raped her first on May 5, 2014 at a guest house attached to the Kuravilangad convent when he visited Kerala for some Church programme.

However, a complaint has also been lodged with the police from the side of the Bishop saying that the nun had moved against him as an act of revenge for taking disciplinary action against her. The Bishop had claimed that the diocese had taken action against her following a woman’s complaint that her husband was having a relationship with the nun.

Meanwhile, the questioning and arrest –if needed – of the Bishop could be delayed further as the police team probing the case has reportedly received strict instructions from the police’s top brass to move in that direction only after examining in detail the complaints lodged by both the nun and Bishop Mulakkal.

The investigators were initially planning to visit Jalandhar for questioning the Bishop last week and they postponed the trip to Monday later, according to sources. Rumours are already rife that the police have slowed down the probe thanks to the influence Bishop Mulakkal is wielding over political leaders in Kerala, Jalandhar and Delhi.

There were reports earlier that 18 nuns of the Missionaries of Jesus Congregation had left their service in the path of God. The investigators are examining the situation in which they allegedly gave up their service and whether the Bishop had anything to do with it. However, it is said that these nuns have not given any concrete statement against Bishop Mulakkal.

The police have recorded the statements of two of the nuns who were at the convent in Kuravilangad during the period when the Bishop had allegedly raped the senior nun. Further inquiries are being carried out on the basis of their statements. The police have received confirmation that the Bishop had visited the convent on dates the nun has cited.

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