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Kerala nun rape case: Priest grilled for third day; minister says justice will be done

Thiruvananthapuram, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 21 September 2018, 03:16 PM
Accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal
Accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal

Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of sexual assault and unnatural sex by a nun, reached the Crime Branch office in Thrippunithura for questioning for the third day on Friday.

In the meantime, the Kerala government said that the investigation by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) was proceeding in the “right direction” and that justice will be delivered.

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“Investigation is going in the right direction. The government is with the victim. The government is with the nuns staging the protest. Certainly, the government will take all necessary steps to identify the culprits and bring the guilty to book,” senior Kerala Minister EP Jayarajan said in Thiruvananthapuram.
Backing the Kerala Police, Jayarajan said nobody, including those sitting in protest demanding the priest’s arrest, has any complaint about the way the investigation is proceeding.

The minister’s statement came a day after Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, the state secretary of Kerala’s ruling CPI(M), said the protest by nuns in front of the high court for Mulakkal’s arrest was “ill-motivated”.

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The former bishop, who was grilled for more than eight hours on Thursday, was directed to be present before the investigation team by 10.30 am on Friday. He, however, reached at 10.40 am from a five-star hotel in Kochi for the interrogation amid tight police security.

The Vatican had on Thursday divested Mulakkal, who was the bishop of the Jalandhar diocese of Missionaries of Jesus despite shedding his administrative role, of his pastoral responsibilities “temporarily”.

Speaking at a programme organised by DYFI, the youth wing of the CPI(M), in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday, Balakrishnan had alleged the agitation was ill-motivated and part of a political campaign against the Left Front government.

In an article published in CPI(M) mouthpiece ‘Deshabhimani’ Friday, Balakrishnan said, “Some forces are trying to portray the nuns’ protest as against the government.”

“The attempt is to let loose political tension against LDF government and CPI(M). Such political forces are trying to hijack the nuns’ protest and through overt and covert means are trying to launch a series of agitations throughout the state,” he added.

The faithful should understand this lurking danger and identify these forces, the senior CPI(M) leader said.

First Published: Friday, September 21, 2018 02:41 PM

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