Po­lice to quiz 12 priests in Ker­ala nun ‘rape’ case

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION - NEWS NETWORK

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.

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