"We are happy with the present police probe. The higher officials do not want us to get justice," a group member told the media.

Kerala DGP and IG scuttling probe against rape accused Bishop Franco allege nuns
news Sexual Assault Sunday, September 09, 2018 - 17:30

A group of Catholic nuns on Sunday opposed a Crime Branch probe into a case where a bishop allegedly raped a nun repeatedly in 2014. 

"We have heard that a Crime Branch probe is being planned. This is only meant to delay the proceedings. We are happy with the present police probe. The higher officials do not want us to get justice," a group member told the media.

Anupama, one of the five nuns who had extended support to the 44-year-old survivor told TNM that they believed DGP Loknath Behera and IG Vijay Sakhare played a hand in ensuring the bishop wasn't arrested.

She said that an inquiry by Crime Branch was not a solution as the DGP and IG will still be in charge. "We have no complaints about the DySP who is investigating the case. The problem is being created by his seniors. So what is the point of transferring the probe?" she asked. 

On Saturday, the nuns attached to a Catholic convent near Kottayam to which the alleged victim also belonged, started an indefinite fast programme organised by the Joint Christian Council to pressurise the state government to act against the accused, Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Jalandhar.

The protest was called due to the fact that since the case was registered 75 days ago, the police have taken 12 statements from the victim while only one from the accused bishop.

Meanwhile, Kerala Police Chief Loknath Behra has dismissed claims of a Crime Branch probe.

"I am yet to review the case as it is being handled by the Inspector General (IG) of Police. The IG is happy with the progress in the investigation," Behra told the media on Sunday.

Sources closed to the victim said that a press conference which she was slated to address has been cancelled and will now directly approach the Kerala High Court seeking justice.

In June, the victim alleged that Mulakkal sexually abused her several times between 2014 to 2016. 

An FIR was registered against the bishop and a 114-page detailed statement was taken from the nun and other inmates of the convent.

However, Mulakkal has denied any wrongdoing.

With IANS inputs

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