Police to quiz 12 priests in Kerala nun ‘rape’ case
Kottayam / Kochi: The police team probing the rape case against Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal will question 12 priests who took part in a church retreat at Attapadi village in Kerala exactly two years ago, to one of whom the raped nun first confessed about what the bishop had forced her to endure. It was while attending a prayer session at this retreat in September 2016 that the nun gathered the courage to make the confession, but since the confessional box is partitioned, she couldn’t identify the priest she confessed to.
After the nun disclosed this to them, the investigation team is now planning to talk to all 12 priests who were in attendance at the retreat on the particular day and are hoping that the priest concerned would, considering the nature of the charges, make an exception to religious vows that forbid him from sharing confessional details. Police sources said that if the priest does talk to them, it will help them build a watertight case against the Jalandhar bishop.
Meanwhile, TOI has learnt that bishop Mulakkal, who has been summoned for questioning by Kottayam police on September 19, is unlikely to land in Kochi airport and is instead planning to proceed by road to Kottayam after flying down to either Bengaluru, Chennai or Mangaluru. Church sources said that this change in plans was in anticipation of widespread public protests and to evade the media.
Punjab Police have confirmed to their Kerala counterparts that the bishop will reach Kerala on September 19. The venue of his questioning is yet to be decided.