Protests erupted outside the crime branch office in Thrippunithura where Mulakkal was questioned on Thursday. The interrogation was carried out by a team of police officers which included IG Vijay Sakhare, Kottayam Superintendent of Police Hari Sanker and Vaikom Dy SP K Subhash. The interview lasted till the evening and will continue for a second day on September 20. Earlier, on August 18, he was interrogated by the police in Jalandhar.
The Missionaries of Jesus nuns have been protesting past several days in Kochi demanding the arrest of the Bishop and criticising the Kerala police for delaying it. "A detailed verification is needed for the statements given by the bishop". The bishop arrived at the interrogation centre in Tripunithura at around 11.05 am accompanied by the PRO of Jalandhar diocese, Fr Peter Kavumpuram. It must be noted here that the church has not taken any action against Bishop Franco, and have not even suspended him.
The minister's statement came a day after Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, the state secretary of Kerala's ruling CPI (M), said the protest by nuns in front of the high court for Franco Mulakkal's arrest was "ill-motivated" and part of a political campaign against the Left Front government, news agency PTI reported. "Let us wait. A decision will be definitely taken today or tomorrow after the interrogation", Behera told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.
CNN has reached out to Mulakkal's diocese for comment but has not received a reply. Meanwhile, the survivor nun has also written to the Vatican and sought for intervention in the ongoing case and has also demanded the bishop's removal. In the complaint filed by the 44-year-old victim, the nun alleged that the Bishop had raped her 13 times over the period of two years from 2014 to 2016. Following her complaint, the bishop was booked under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code.
On Wednesday, police questioned him for 7 hours.