Nun rape case: Police asks immigration dept to prevent bishop from leaving India

Police probing the allegation of rape against a bishop of the Jalandhar dioecese,

Bishop Franco Mulakkal | File Bishop Franco Mulakkal | File

Police probing the allegation of rape against a bishop of the Jalandhar dioecese, has written to the Immigration department to prevent any bid by him to leave the country, a police official said.

In her complaint to the Kottayam district police chief recently, a nun has charged Bishop Franco Mulakkal with rape and unnatural sex multiple times at a small town near Kottayam between 2014 and 2016.

"We have written to the immigration requesting them not to allow the bishop to leave the country," said a police officer supervising the investigation.

Apprehension that the bishop, having international connections, may leave the country to evade arrest has prompted police to write such a letter to the immigration department, the official said.

The probe team, which went through the statements given to it and a magistrate by the nun, feels that there was "merit" in the nuns complaint to interrogate the bishop, police said.

The probe team had on Thursday examined the statements given to it and a judicial first class magistrate under CrPC Section 164.

Meanwhile, sources close to the nun said she had written to Pope Francis on May 14 this year complaining against the bishop.

In her complaint submitted to the 'Holy See', the nun had alleged that she was "sexually abused and harassed" by the bishop, the sources said.

Authorities of the congregation of nuns, to which the victim belongs, has reportedly warned some of its members for supporting her in her fight against the bishop.

Last week, the nun had complained to the National Commission for Women that the Kerala Police was "not working" in the case as the accused is a "highly linked" person.

NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma had said this after she met the nun at her convent on Saturday.

Sharma met her two days after a magistrate court recorded the nun's statement in the case.