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Indian police arrest bishop accused of raping nun in Kerala state

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By Reuters
Indian police arrest bishop accused of raping nun in Kerala state
Bishop Franco Mulakkal (2nd R), accused of raping a nun, is escorted by police outside a crime branch office on the outskirts of Kochi in the southern state of Kerala, India, September 21, 2018. REUTERS/Sivaram V   -   Copyright  SIVARAM V(Reuters)

KOCHI, India (Reuters) – Police in the south Indian state of Kerala have arrested a Roman Catholic bishop accused of raping a nun, a day after the Vatican accepted the bishop’s request to be temporarily relieved of his duties.

The nun has accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who heads the diocese of Jalandhar, of raping her repeatedly over a period of two years.

“He is charged with rape,” said Kochi’s inspector general of police, Vijay Sakhare.

The bishop has given interviews denying wrongdoing. He wrote to the Vatican on Sunday asking to step down temporarily as protests and calls for his arrest grew. The Vatican accepted his request on Thursday. [nL3N1W64PI]

(Reporting by Sivaram V. in KOCHI; Malini Menon in NEWDELHI; Editing by Euan Rocha and Kevin Liffey)