The media contingent was waiting outside the Thrippunithura crime branch office at Kochi to capture the rape accused Bishop James Franco into their frames on Wednesday. After waiting for as long as three hours, the bishop finally arrived at 11 am for his police interrogation.
Republic TV had earlier reported that the police chose two places for the interrogation, one is the Vaikom Deputy Superintendent of Police office at Kottayam district and the other at Police club of Kottayam.
Early morning at 7 am, all the reporters started assembling near Vaikom Deputy Superintendent of Police office at Kottayam since it was an important moment. It was almost confirmed last night that the interrogation will happen at Vaikom Deputy Superintendent of Police office since it is considered ad the base office of Investigating officer K Subash.
Later, the media was informed that the location was changed and the interrogation was to happen at Thrippunithura crime branch which is at Kochi. Republic TV crew with other media channels chased the Deputy Superintendent of Police until he reached Thrippunithura, almost covering a stretch of 30 kms.
Everyone was wondering as to why the police suddenly made a change in the location which is out of the jurisdiction since the complaint was at Kottayam.
Police wanted to keep the location secret till the last minute to avoid any kind of protest or agitation which could possibly ruin the investigation or act as a threat to the accused bishop Franco due the widespread anger against him. Hence, the police sources informed that they kept the location as the secret till the last minute.
There is another reason why police chose the Kochi Crime branch office for interrogation. Kerala Police have already cracked many cases in this particular office which has sophisticated interrogation facilities including camera facilities which can record the whole statement of the accused and also have soundproof rooms.
Intelligence had also predicted that there could be a protest if it had happened at Vaikom Deputy Superintendent of Police office and hence it was kept as a secret till the last minute.
However, there was action as anticipated by the police, a group of 10-12 members from All India youth federation protested in front of the interrogation center when bishop Franco left the premises. They also raised slogans and demanded the arrest of Bishop. Police then cleared them from the place and things were under control.
The police security was already beefed up inside the premises and police sources say that the security personals were deployed both inside and out tomorrow keeping the protest in the mind since the bishop will appear for the interrogation on Thursday as well.
(The author has been reporting from Kochi on the Kerala Nun Rape Case for a number of weeks)