Police in the southern Indian state of Kerala have summoned a bishop accused of raping a Catholic nun for questioning, following days of protests by a collective of nuns, women’s groups and activists.
The Indian media on Wednesday reported that Franco Mulakkal, head of the Jalandhar diocese in northern Punjab state, has finally been summoned and is likely to be questioned on September 19.
The decision to question Mulakkal came on the fifth day of a sit-in protest in Kerala, demanding action against the bishop accused of sexually assaulting the 46-year-old Catholic nun from the Catholic congregation Missionaries of Jesus.
The nun has alleged that Mulakkal raped her repeatedly between 2014-2016 at a convent in Kerala.
“Arrest this man who is a culprit, that’s the demand of the nun who was raped. She has given a statement to the police saying she was raped, why is the government hesitating to arrest this rapist?” Felix J Pulludan, secretary at the Joint Christian Council, told Al Jazeera.
Arrest this man who is a culprit, that’s the demand of the nun who was raped … Why is the government hesitating to arrest this rapist?
FELIX J PULLUDAN, SECRETARY AT THE JOINT CHRISTIAN COUNCIL
“Four nuns are sitting in protest near the High Court in Kochi against injustice done to the sister. Our protests will grow stronger in the coming days. The government must act now,” Pulludan, protest organiser of “Save our Sisters”, said from the protest site in front of the High Court in Kochi, Kerala’s largest city.
It’s the latest scandal in the Catholic church’s continuing sexual abuse crisis globally.
On Tuesday, the nun wrote to the Vatican’s envoy to India, Reverend Giambattista Diquattro, alleging the accused Bishop and his close associates “are using the wealth of the diocese to divert” the probe.
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