Probe team interrogates Franco Mulakkal for over 9 hours; Arrest unlikely
Jalandhar: Bishop Franco Mulakkal was interrogated by the investigation team from Kottayam led by Vaikkom DySP K Subhash in connection with the sexual abuse of a nun. Interrogation prolonged for 9 hours. It began on Monday at 8 pm and ended at 5 am on Tuesday.
The arrest of the Bishop will happen only after examining the statements given by him. The Bishop’s mobile was taken into custody. The statement given by the Bishop shows some contradictions on the dates when the abuse took place. Franco had cooperated with the interrogation, said the investigation team.
The Bishop said that he didn’t go to the convent on the alleged day of abuse. He expressed his willingness to undergo any scientific test.
If needed, the team will visit bishop house again for interrogation. However, the investigation team will return to Kerala today or tomorrow.
Bishop Franco Mulakkal had left for Chandigarh before the police team from Kerala reached the Bishop’s House.
Subsequently, the probe team waited for hours for the Bishop's return. The Bishop returned after several hours and the probe team was able to begin the interrogation only in the night.
Meanwhile, some of the believers manhandled mediapersons and destroyed their cameras when they were taking the visuals of the Bishop.
The Bishop had informed the police that he will cooperate with them. However, he left for Chandigarh asking the investigation team to wait for him.
With the Kerala police taking the stand that they will not leave the place without questioning the Bishop, the Punjab police took the initiative to bring back Franco Mulakkal to the Bishop’s House.
The mediapersons were manhandled when they tried to capture the visuals of the bishop entering the Bishop’s House in his car. The video camera of Manu Sidhardhan of Asianet News was destroyed. The camera of SIbi, a photo journalist of Malayala Manorama, was also destroyed.
Attempts were also made to assault Sanoj Beypore and Vaisakh Jayapalan , who works for Media One and Mathrubhumi News, respectively. Subsequently, Punjab Police reached the place and provided protection to the mediapersons.
Meanwhile, mediapersons in Punjab entered into a verbal spat with the police alleging that the police stood as mere spectators during the violence. Diocese spokesperson Peter Kavumpuram had said that the Bishop would cooperate with the police today. However, the Bishop eluded the police by going to Chandigarh.
The investigation team from Kerala, who remained at the Bishop’s House sought the help of Punjab police and the Bishop was brought back to the Bishop’s House.