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Nuns seek arrest of a bishop in India accused of rape

Nuns from the Missionaries of Jesus began their protest last week in heavily Catholic Kochi, India.
Nuns from the Missionaries of Jesus began their protest last week in heavily Catholic Kochi, India.(Associated Press)

KOCHI, India — A group of Catholic nuns is holding a protest in south India, demanding the arrest of a bishop whom one nun accused of rape.

The nuns, members of the Missionaries of Jesus order, began their protest last week, gathering with dozens of supporters in Kochi, a coastal city in Kerala state. India is overwhelmingly Hindu, but Kerala has a large Catholic population.

‘‘The church has not given us justice,’’ one of the nuns, Sister Anupama, told the Times of India. ‘‘It was the church which forced us onto the street.’’

The protest follows a June complaint to police by a nun who accused Franco Mulakkal, bishop of the city of Jalandhar, of repeatedly sexually abusing her from 2014 to 2016.

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The bishop has denied the accusation, saying the nun was angry because he had ordered disciplinary actions against her.

Police questioned Mulakkal in July. He has not been arrested.