The Kerala Police on Tuesday filed a chargesheet against rape accused and former Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal. Mulakkal, who was arrested in September, is currently out on bail.
The chargesheet, which is 74-pages long, was submitted before the Pala Magistrate Court, Mathrubhumi reported. There were 83 eyewitnesses, while 11 priests, 24 nuns and three bishops have been quoted in the chargesheet. The charges against the bishop include illegal confinement, rape, unnatural sex, detention of woman, and repeated sexual abuse of the same woman.
The police has also submitted a 1,400-page supplementary document containing confidential statements, Mathrubhumi reported.
“After months of struggle, we are very happy that this is finally happening,” Sister Anupama, one of the nuns who protested against Mulakkal, told News18. “This is proof that God is with us and truth will prevail.”
In June, the police had filed a case against Mulakkal after a nun in the Missionaries of Jesus congregation filed a complaint accusing him of raping her 13 times between 2014 and 2016 in Kottayam. The congregation is based in Punjab’s Jalandhar district but it runs two convents in Kerala – in Kottayam and Kannur. The alleged abuse took place in Kottayam.
Mulakkal has repeatedly denied the charges and accused the nun of taking revenge on him for ordering an inquiry into a complaint against her. He had filed a complaint against the complainant and five other nuns, accusing them of framing him. The bishop had claimed that there were “several contradictions” in the evidence collected by the police.
The Missionaries of Jesus has said its internal investigation found Mulakkal to be innocent. The organisation has also attempted to malign the complainant repeatedly, and had once claimed that she was in a relationship with a taxi driver. Nuns of the organisation have also accused the state police of showing bias against the bishop.