Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who was on Friday arrested for raping a nun from the Missionaries of Jesus (MJ) congregation, was taken to hospital after he complained of chest pain. The Bishop was being taken to Kottayam from Kochi after his arrest when he complained of uneasiness and was admitted to Government Medical College in Kottayam.
According to Manorama News, the Bishop was kept under observation for 6 hours and medical reports had stated that his blood pressure was high. However, after tests were concluded, he was discharged from the hospital. He will be produced before the magistrate’s court on Saturday.
The Bishop has been arrested on charges of raping a 44-year-old nun between 2014 and 2016. He was questioned in the case of three consecutive days and was taken into custody on Friday night. Addressing the media after his arrest, Kottayam SP Harishankar told the media that there was enough material with the investigating team to show that Bishop Franco Mulakkal had committed the crime, which is why they decided to go ahead with his arrest.
The Bishop’s arrest led to quiet celebrations at Kochi’s Vanchi Square, where sisters of the Missionaries of Jesus in Kottayam – Anupama, Alphy, Josephine, Neena Rose and Anaitha – along with many others had been protesting for the past 14 days demanding the arrest of the Bishop. The nun had filed a complaint in June alleging that she was sexually assaulted by the bishop multiple times between 2014 and 2016 in the Kuravilangad convent in Kerala. The police had questioned the bishop once on August 13, almost two months after the complaint was filed but the case had been kept in cold storage after that.
On Thursday, the Apostolic Nunciature (Pope’s Ambassador) to India accepted the request of the rape accused Bishop to relieve him of his religious duties temporarily. Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Agnelo Rufino Gracias, the Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Bombay, to take over the duties of Bishop Franco Mulakkal.