The nun alleged that she was sexually abused by Bishop Franco Mullakkal between 2014 and 2016.
- Nun's brother said accused's people offered Rs 5 crore hush money
- Police sources said a high-level meeting will be held
- Kerala High Court told police for details on progress of investigation
Under pressure from activists, women's groups and civil society, the Kerala police decided to summon a Bishop accused of raping a nun for questioning, reported news agency Press Trust of India. The decision was taken after a marathon six-hour meeting. Jalandhar bishop Franco Mulakkal will be questioned on September 19. There have been calls from all quarters for the Bishop's arrest. But the police have been stalling, even after informing the High Court last month that the bishop had repeatedly raped the nun for almost two years. The nun alleged that she was sexually abused 13 times between 2014 and 2016.
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The brother of the nun said a relative of Franco Mulakkal and two other priests approached his friend and conveyed that they are willing of Rs. 5 crore if the nun withdraws her complaint.
Police sources said a high-level meeting will be held ahead of Thursday's hearing in the Kerala High Court. A notice is likely to be issued to summon the 54-year-old bishop and a decision on whether he should be arrested will be taken in the meeting.
The Kerala High Court has asked the police for details on the steps taken as part of the investigation into the rape case.
Four nuns, who support the complainant, joined protests near the Kerala High Court in Kochi. The nuns and others are protesting in Kerala against the delay in action against the bishop. Protests are also taking place in Jalandhar. The former spokesperson of Syro-Malabar Church said the Mother Superior has issued a letter to the nuns asking them not to speak on the issue.
The Missionaries of Jesus Congregation - that backs Bishop Franco Mulakkal - hit out at the protesting nuns, saying it would approach the Kerala police chief to probe what they call is a conspiracy by external forces against the church and the bishop.
The nun has petitioned the Vatican, alleging that the bishop is using "political and money power" to bury the case. In a letter to the Vatican on Saturday, the nun alleged that by continuing as Jalandhar diocese bishop, Franco Mulakkal and his close associates "are using the wealth of the diocese to divert" the course of the police investigation.
The Kerala High Court asked the police to clarify if the bishop was questioned and what steps had been taken after the police questioning. In an affidavit accessed by NDTV last month, the police told the court last month that the bishop repeatedly raped the nun for almost two years, between May 2014 and September 2016, and kept her confined in a convent in Kerala.
The Kerala Police had questioned the bishop last month in Jalandhar and said there are discrepancies in the dates mentioned by him and the nun.
The bishop has denied the allegations made by the nun and claims that he has been targeted for taking disciplinary action.
Accused of stalling action under pressure, the police have denied that any forces are at work to stop the investigation. Police sources blamed the Kerala flood crisis for the delay and said the investigations were "going in the best manner possible" and all steps had been taken to protect the nuns.