Bishop Franco Mulakkal's arrest | Timeline

Jalandhar bishop Dr Franco Mulakkal has denied the allegations.

June 29

The police in Kuravilangad register a case on the basis of the nun's complaint that Bishop Franco Mulakkal of the Jalandhar diocese raped her several times at the convent of the Missionaries of Jesus in Kuravilangad. The nun lodged the complaint as the police were investigating a petition filed by the bishop with the Kottayam district police chief, alleging that the nun's brother had threatened him after an argument about the church punishing her. The church had earlier acted against the nun and removed her from the post of Mother Superior.

July 01

John Jacob, convenor of the Archdiocesan Movement for Transparency (AMT), the fraternity of devotees in Ernakulam archdiocese, files a plaint with the Inspector General against Cardinal Mar George Alanchery, who he accused of having failed to inform the police about the nun's rape charge.

July 05

The First Class Magistrate in Changanassery records the nun's in-camera statement in response to a plea filed by the special investigation team (SIT) in the case.

July 07

The National Women's Commission (NCW) demands that the probe against the bishop should be expedited.

July 12

The SIT finds that Mulakkal had been to convents in Pariyaram and Panappuzha in Kannur district during the period cited by the nun in her rape complaint. The police seizes the visitors' register at both convents, which contain data on the visits.

July 14

Proceeding on the nun's plea, the SIT records the statements of Pala Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangad and Kuravilangad Major Archiepiscopal Marth Mariam Archdeacon Pilgrim Church Arch Priest Fr Joseph Thadathil. Both of them told the police that the nun had spoken about the rape, but had not given in writing.

July 18

Cardinal Alanchery told Vaikom Dy SP K Subash that the nun had not mentioned about the rape in her complaint. The petition said the bishop was troubling her regularly on the phone. In another complaint, filed by the father of another nun, the bishop was accused of raising threats. The Cardinal said he advised them to lodge complaints with concerned authorities as he, as Syro Malabar Archbishop, had no authority over the Latin diocese in Jalandhar.

July 24

National leaders of several women's organisations in India submitted a memorandum to Vatican's ambassador in Delhi, Giambattista Diquattro, requesting him to advise the Pope to divest the bishop of pastoral duties.

July 25

A relative of the nun, living in Kochi, told the police about receiving a huge offer if the complaint would be withdrawn. Cash and position were offered, the relative said, adding that the offer came through a friend.

July 29

A priest calls a nun who supported the victim and asks her to advise the nun to withdraw the complaint. As the call is exposed in the media, the police records the statement of the nun who received it at the convent at Nadukunnu, Kuravilangad.

July 30

Kuravilangad Police register a case against the priest who made the call, Kuryanad St Anns Ashramam Prior and School Manager Fr James Erthayil.

August 03

The SIT reaches Delhi to gather more evidence on the nun's rape complaint. They had to record the statement of Ujjain Bishop Mar Sebastian Vadakkel as the nun had stated that he was informed about the rape.

August 03

Kuravilangad Sub Inspector Shinto P Kurien is transferred to Kottayam DCRB after it was alleged that he had talked to a priest who was accused of trying to influence a witness in the case.

August 07

The High Court seeks the government's response to a plea that sought immediate arrest of Bishop Mulakkal.

August 08

The SIT arrives in Jalandhar to interrogate Bishop Mulakkal. They record the statement of Sister Regina, Mother General of the Missionaries of Jesus, and Sisters Amala, Vergin, and Maria who work at the mission's office. The police also examine documents in the office, including e-mail messages.

August 13

The High Court rejects a petition filed by the Kerala Catholic Church Reformation Movement (KCCRM), which sought immediate arrest of the bishop and a court-supervised and time-bound investigation. The court expressed the view that the ongoing probe was in the right direction.

August 13

The SIT questions Bishop Mulakkal in Jalandhar. His private security guards manhandles media persons and destroys camera and other equipment. An attempt was also made to lock up media persons inside the Bishop's House.

August 30

Fr James Erthayil told the SIT that he intervened to attempt a compromise as Sobi George of Kothamangalam had requested him to.

September 08

Kottayam district police chief Harishankar informs the state police chief that it is better to hand over the case to the Crime Branch as a lot more evidence had to be collected.

September 08

The Joint Christian Council launches a hunger strike in Kochi, demanding that the arrest of Bishop Mulakkal should not be delayed.

September 10

Missionaries of Jesus rejects the hunger strike of nuns.

September 10

The High Court queries about the progress of the probe. The court asserts that nobody is above the law, and that no one need to have a wrong impression about it. The comments came during the hearing of petitions filed by the Kerala Catholic Church Reformation Movement, and Malayalavedi president GeorgeVattukulam demanding the bishop's arrest.

September 11

The victim writes to Vatican's ambassador to India, seeking Vatican intervention to ensure justice to her.

September 11

Bishop Mulakkal lashes out at the victim. He alleges that anti-church people have sponsored her with the intention of blackmailing. He promises full co-operation with the police inquiry.

September 12

Missionaries of Jesus announces a probe against nuns who are agitating to press for the arrest of bishop Mulakkal. Among the six nuns who will be covered by the enquiry is the rape victim herself, the others being inmates at the Kuravilangad convent.

September 12

The SIT summons the bishop for interrogation in Kochi on the 19th.

September 13

The High Court rules that the police inquiry is effective and that there is no need for a CBI probe in the case.

September 14

Kuravilangad police file a case against the Missionaries of Jesus for having released a photo of the rape victim.

September 15

The Catholic Bishops Conference of India says the church will take final decisions once the police completes the probe and files its report.

September 15

Bishop Mulakkal hands over administrative responsibilities of Jalandhar diocese to a senior priest.

September 17

Mulakkal writes to the Pope, seeking his permission to stay away from duties temporarily as he needs to focus on the case.

September 19

The SIT interrogates Mulakkal for seven hours at the Thrippunithura Police Women's Cell office.

September 20

Mulakkal is questioned for a second day. Pope Francis exempts him from responsibility of the diocese.

September 21

Mulakkal is grilled for a third day. Arrest follows.

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