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Probe team to serve notice to Jalandhar bishop Franco Mullakkal

Kochi: In the sexual abuse complaint of a nun against Jalandhar bishop Franco Mullakkal, probe team official DySP K Subhash informed that a notice will be served to the bishop asking him to appear before the probe team.

It is reported that the notice will be served on Wednesday.

He will be asked to appear before the officials within a week. He was addressing the media after the meeting held to review the investigation under Kochi range IG Vijay Sakare.

The meeting was summoned to take crucial decision on the case including arresting the bishop.

The probe team asserted that they got strong evidences against the bishop. It is learned that the bishop will be interrogated at Ettumanoor.

According to the probe team, they have resolved the discrepancies between the statements of bishop and the nun in the second phase of the investigation.

The probe team also observed that the bishop has given false statements during the interrogation.

Kottayam District Superintendent of Police Harisankar, Vaikom Deputy Superintendent of Police K Subhash, who is heading the special investigation team, and other officials attended the review meeting chaired by Ernakulam Range IG Vijay Sakhare in Kochi.

On Monday, the Kerala High Court had directed the state government to inform it of the steps taken by the special investigation team probing the case of alleged rape of the nun by the Bishop.

While considering a plea filed by George Joseph K of the Kerala Catholic Church Reformation Movement seeking a court-monitored probe into the case, the court had said, “Law is above all other things and it will take its own course.”

Meanwhile, agitation of various Catholic reformation organisations in Kochi seeking justice for the nun entered the fifth day Wednesday.

Many cultural icons in Kerala including noted poet Balachandran Chullikkad have supported the protest. Leaders of the Mahila Congress, BJP and various rights organisations expressed solidarity with the protesters.

The nun had yesterday shot off a letter to the Vatican representative in India to sack the Bishop, claiming he was using “political and money power” to bury the case. Making a fervent plea for urgent intervention, the nun, in a scathing letter, also sought to explain her silence before coming out against the bishop, saying she had “tremendous fear and shame” and wondered why the church was “closing its eyes towards the truth”.

Speaking to reporters in Jalandhar, the Bishop had said, “If I am found guilty, which I am not, I am likely to be punished… I will appear before police if I am summoned. I am a law abiding citizen.” Senior Kerala minister E P Jayarajan has rejected allegations of attempts to sabotage the case and asserted that the probe was proceeding in the “right direction.”

(With inputs from PTI)

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