In a late-night meeting between the DGP Loknath Behera of Kerala, IGP Vijay Sakhare and DySP KL Subash (Team Leader of Investigations) yesterday to discuss the probe findings into the rape of a nun by Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Catholic Church’s Archdiocese of Jalandhar, Punjab, the police officials have decided to summon the accused leader of the Church within a week for further investigations.
The Kerala Police will be serving a notice to Bishop Franco Mulakkal today and he will have to appear before the investigation team within a week.
Sources in the Kerala Police have told GoaChronicle.com have revealed that there over 20 contradictions in the statement of the Bishop. They felt it would be better to question him in Kerala than Jalandhar.
The Kerala police had earlier questioned the Bishop on the night of August 13 at the Diocesan headquarters in Jalandhar, Punjab. The accused informed the investigation officers that that he was not present at a guest house attached to the St Francis Mission Home – the nun’s convent at Kuravilangad in Kottayam district on May 5, 2014. This is the alleged place and date on where and which she said the Bishop had raped her for the first time.
This information shared with the Kerala Police during questioning has turned out to be a lie because sources in the Kerala Police have told GoaChronicle.com that their investigations have revealed that the Bishop had stayed at the convent in Kuravilangad on the particular date and at the convent in Thodupuzha, Idukki as lied by the accused.
The victim nun, in her statement, had stated that the Bishop had raped her 13 times between 2014 and 2016 at the Convent’s guest house at Kurvailangad.
The police nailed the lie of the accused Bishop when they questioned the nun-in-charge at the Thodupuzha convent. During interrogations she revealed that the Bishop had not arrived at the convent on May 5, 2014.
The nun-in-charge at first did not come forth with the truth. But on persistent questioning she broke down and told the investigating officers that her first statement to the police was false and that she lied because she was instructed too by the accused Bishop. The Bishop, she claimed, asked her to state that he was at Thodupuzha convent on the said date and day.
More importantly the Visitor’s Register Diary in possession of the police does not show any entry of the Bishop at the Thodupuzha convent on that day.
In another development during the investigations, the police officers learned from the driver of the accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal that he had dropped the clergyman at the St Francis Mission Home – a convent of the Missionaries of Jesus – to which the victim nun belonged at Kuravilangad on May 5, 2014.
In light of the new evidence in the hands of the Kerala Police which it makes it incumbent on them to arrest the Catholic Church’s Bishop, the investigation officers are still threading carefully due to pressures from seniors in the police force and political leaders is what GoaChronicle has learned.