Indian bishop arrested on charges of raping nun

Rape Accused Bishop

Kerala Rape Accused Bishop Interrogated By Police For Over Six Hour

Mulakkal, who has been grilled by the Kerala Police over allegations of rape and unnatural sex levelled by a nun, reached the Crime Branch office in Thrippunithura, earlier in the day.

Indian police on Friday arrested a Catholic bishop accused by a nun of repeatedly raping her over a period of two years.

Mulakkal, who heads the diocese of Jalandhar, wrote to the Vatican on Sunday asking to step down temporarily as protests and calls for his arrest grew.

The bishop was taken for a medical examination after his arrest.

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

In a letter, Apostolic Nunciature in India said "The Holy Father has received the request of Rt".

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The Bishop, who claimed his innocence in the case had also filed an anticipatory bail on September 18 and the Kerala High Court has agreed to hear his plea on September 25.

Before he was appointed as the Jalandhar bishop in 2013, Mulakkal served as the auxiliary bishop of Delhi from 2009.

There was no immediate comment from Bishop Franco Mulakkal or his lawyers - though he has denied the charges in interviews in the past.

Kerala had witnessed a huge public outcry and an unprecedented public protest by five fellow nuns of the victim seeking the bishop's arrest. She said she had to approach police because church authorities did not act on her complaints. "We are very happy. the Vatican has finally heard our prayers", said one of the nuns.

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) had said on Thursday that Pope Francis had temporarily relieved Mulakkal of his pastoral responsibilities, a decision welcomed by the protesting nuns who termed the development as the "first victory" in their fight against the former bishop. However, the police reportedly submitted an affidavit which states that investigations so far reveal that the bishop had abused his position of power and raped the nun multiple times between 2014 and 2016.

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