Protesting nuns cry foul over delay in arrest of bishop

Protesting nuns cry foul over delay in arrest of bishop

Protesting nuns cry foul over delay in arrest of bishop

It was after Kerala Police served notice to Bishop Franco to appear before the investigation team on September 19 in connection with the rape case that Franco wrote a letter to the Pope expressing his desire to step down from the post temporarily.

The Church representative from India is in the Vatican to discuss the issue and is likely to intervene soon, reports had said earlier this week.

"With reasonable suspicion, the investigating officer has been convinced about the charges framed against the bishop".

The vehicle carrying the Bishop was directed to the Medical College Hospital when it reached Ettumanoor at around 11 pm after the Bishop complained of chest pain, sources said.

"In my absence, Mathew Kokkandam will administer the diocese as in the normal practice when I am away", bishop Mulakkal said in a September 13 circular, reported NDTV.

She said she was forced to approach police because church authorities did not take action after she reported the attacks. The nun filed a police complaint against Mulakkal after his public relations officer, Fr Peter Kavumpuram, filed a complaint against her brother alleging that he had threatened to kill the bishop. Mulakkal, who holds a doctorate in moral theology, is the first Indian Catholic bishop to be arrested in a rape case. They also demanded the immediate arrest of the accused bishop.

Meanwhile, the protest by various Catholic reform organisations and a group of nuns seeking Mulakkal's arrest entered its 13th day Thursday. One of the nuns, while slamming the police's inaction in nabbing the accused said, "The police have repeatedly taken the statement of the victim nun, but they have taken Franco Mulakkal's statement only once". In a statement, the congregation said, "We strongly condemn the protest in Kochi".

The bishop is being grilled by a special investigation team at a hi-tech facility at Thripunithura.

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