The Kerala Police on Sunday recorded the statement of a nun who has accused a bishop of sexually assaulting her, The Indian Express reported. The police will question the bishop after analysing her statement and other evidence.
“The nun has stuck to her earlier complaint that the bishop sexually abused her 13 times,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police and Investigating Officer K Subhash, who is also inquiring into a case of blackmail filed by the bishop against the nun. “Going by her statement, there is a strong case against the bishop.’’
The nun was questioned for over five hours on Sunday, according to The Hindu. Police will now approach a court to get her statement recorded before a magistrate.
The Kottayam police had on Friday filed a case of rape and unnatural sex against Franco Mulakkal, the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar. Mulakkal, in turn, filed a complaint against the nun saying she was blackmailing him and threatening to implicate him in a sexual harassment case.
Mulakkal has denied the charges and said he was ready to face any investigation, the Hindustan Times reported.
The nun told police that she had taken up the matter with Church authorities, including Cardinal George Alancherry, the head of the Syro-Malabar Church, last year, but there was no action. She has alleged that Mulakkal sexually abused her in 2014 in Kuravilangadu and raped her 13 times over the next two years. Four other nuns of the Kuravilangand house of the congregation have also given statements against the bishop, police said.
“We would subject the nun to medical examination to ascertain the sexual abuse and would get her statement recorded by a judicial magistrate,” Kottayam Superintendent of Police Hari Sankar told The Indian Express. A case would be filed against the Church authorities if they are found to have hushed up the nun’s complaint, he said.
Meanwhile, an Ernakulam-based group called the Archdiocese Movement for Transparency filed a police complaint to seek action against Cardinal George Alancherry for failing to act on the allegations.