On Saturday, videos showed rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal being taken to the local magistrate court in Pala with heavy police security, even as scores of people were seen thronging the court premises to see him. And as the crowds booed collectively, the rape accused was seen wearing a smile as he moved through the crowds and entered the police van.
According the reports, he was even smiling through the hearing in the court. The Pala magistrate court denied bail to the accused Bishop and sent him to police custody for two days, until the 24th when he will be produced before the High Court in Kochi for an anticipatory bail application plea hearing.
The accused Bishop was finally arrested on Friday evening after three days of rigorous questioning at the Thripunithara SP office in Kerala. Superintendent of Police Harishankar told media persons late on Friday evening that they have found evidence of rape against the Bishop and hence have decided the arrest him. The news lead to celebrations at Vanchi Square near the High Court in Kochi where protestors - led by 5 nuns from the Catholic Missionaries of Jesus congregation - were on a strike for the past 14 days to get the accused Bishop arrested.
Activist and writer P Geetha who was on a hunger strike for 5 days said that the arrest was but a small victory and there was a long road of struggle ahead.
â€śWhat should have happened naturally (the arrest) was achieved only after several people and fought and suffered several hardships to achieve this. There is still a long way to go,â€ť she said.
Meanwhile the Bishop was admitted to a government hospital in Kottayam on Friday after he complained of chest pain following his arrest. He was discharged on Saturday and brought to the court after this.