Kerala police summons Jalandhar Bishop on Sept 19

The Kerala Police has summoned Bishop of Jalandhar Franco Mulakkal to appear before Vaikom Deputy Superintendent of Police K Subhash on September 19.

The police has also asserted that scientific and technical errors still exist in the case and there are differences in the statements of witnesses.

Inspector General Vijay Sakre told media, "There are lots of contradictions in the case on the part of everyone -- the complainant, the accused and the witnesses. This is an old case and is based primarily on oral statements. It is very difficult to gather scientific and technical evidence. We have to ensure that contradictions are ironed out suitably. As part of that process, Bishop Franco has been summoned to appear before the investigating officer on September 19 and notice for the same has already been sent."

Reacting on the same, the public relations officer for the Jalandhar diocese, Father Peter K, said, "I have heard of the notice but haven't seen it yet. If they call the Bishop on September 19, we will surely cooperate and he will go to Kochi as required".

Father Peter further claimed that the protest against the Bishop was "a politically-motivated anti-Christian movement"

Earlier in the day, National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma spoke to Kerala's Director General of Police to get details of the investigation in the case.

NCW chairperson took to Twitter to share the developments and wrote, "Spoke to Shri Behera, DGP Kerala, this afternoon. He has assured me that Kerala Police will conduct a fair investigation and take strict action against Bishop Franco Mulakkal".

The Kerala Director General of Police also informed the NCW Chairperson that the investigation report will be filed in court on Thursday.

Kerala minister and CPI (M) leader E P Jayarajan also briefed media about the nun rape case and assured that the government is with the victim.

"Nuns protesting is a sad thing and the government is with the victim. They need not be concerned. We will take the right decision at the right time. Police will book culprits with the support of evidence. The investigation is on the right path. No one should try to outrage the modesty of a woman," he told reporters here.

A nun from Kerala had accused the 54-year-old priest of raping her on several occasions between 2014 and 2016. However, the Jalandhar Bishop, in an interview to ANI, accused 'anti-church elements' of falsely implicating him in the case.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)