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Kerala bishop in abuse case denies Vatican getaway plan

Mulakkal, accused by a nun of abuse, says he has not sought anticipatory bail as he has done ‘no wrong’

Jalandhar/Kottayam: A Kerala bishop accused of sexually abusing a Catholic nun, once again denied the charges on Thursday and the reports of his moving to the Vatican.

Even as a special probe team launched a detailed investigation against Franco Mulakkal, the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar in Punjab, he maintained leaving the country was the last thing on his mind.

Mulakkal told a Malayalam TV channel in his office in Jalandhar that he has not even been contacted by the police. He also said he has not applied for any anticipatory bail, because he has “done no wrong”.

“I now hear reports that I am trying to run away to Vatican. I wish to state that I am very much here [Jalandhar] and all such reports are baseless and am not running anywhere,” said Mulakkal.

Trouble began for the bishop when a Catholic nun alleged that she was sexually abused by him several times between 2014 and 2016.

An FIR was registered against the bishop and a 114-page detailed statement was taken from the nun.

Mulakkal, for his part, maintains that he has done “no wrong at all” and that the nun took part in several functions besides travelling with him.

“She also took part in the functions after the death of my mother. I have no clue on why all this has surfaced,” added the bishop.

The probe team has so far collected evidences from a convent near Kottayam, where the bishop is alleged to have abused the nun.

The team will meet a few people in Kannur believed to be helpful in the case.

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