Journalists assaulted by Bishop Mulakkal’s guards

New Delhi: Several mediapersons from Kerala were allegedly assaulted by a group of private security guards at the Bishop House in Jalandhar in Punjab.

The Delhi-based journalists were in Jalandhar to report on the police investigation and questioning of Roman Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who had allegedly abused his position and repeatedly raped a nun from Kerala.

According to some of the journalists, the guards manhandled them and damaged their cameras and equipment while they were capturing the visuals of Bishop Mulakkal who had just returned to his headquarters from Chandigarh.

No official comment was immediately available on the alleged assault of journalists. A special team of Kerala Police earlier reached the Bishop House to question the Bishop but was unable to do so since he was in Chandigarh.

Punjab Police then asked the Bishop to return and appear for questioning. Interrogation is now underway. The state government earlier yesterday told the Kerala High Court that a decision on arresting Mulakkal, who has so far claimed innocence, will be taken after he is interrogated and the evidence examined.

As per the initial investigation of the police, Bishop Mulakkal abused his position and repeatedly raped a nun from Kerala, a special team probing the case told the Kerala high court yesterday.

Responding to a petition seeking speedy investigation, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kottayam, K Subhash informed the court that the investigation was proceeding effectively and impartially.

The police statement before the high court was based on initial investigation and available evidence. It is revealed that Bishop Franco Mulakkal committed unnatural offence and committed rape repeatedly on the nun against her will, the statement read.

The bishop confined the nun to a guestroom in St Francis Mission Home in Kuravilangad in Kottayam district of Kerala, the statement alleged. In her complaint lodged with Kottayam district police, the nun accused Mulakkal of raping and having unnatural sex with her multiple times between 2014 and 2016.

State police chief Loknath Behera on 1 August reviewed the progress of the case and permitted the investigation team to proceed to Jalandhar, New Delhi, and other cities as part of the investigations.