Bengaluru: In a tragic killing on the night of Easter Sunday, a city priest was bludgeoned to death, leaving his parishioners and his sister, who had just arrived in the city, in a state of shock.
The Rector, Father K.J. Thomas, 62, who also served as the director of the church, was found murdered at St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary in Malleswaram on Monday morning. The man known for his warm smile, had his face smashed beyond recognition.
The police said the Rector had been attacked with a heavy object, probably a brick. Sources in the hospital, where the post-mortem was conducted, told Deccan Chronicle that the priest had suffered severe head and chest injuries, which led injuries, which led to loss of blood and his eventual death. Doctors said two or more people could have been involved in the attack.
City police commissioner Jyothiprakash Mirji, who visited the scene of the murder, said five special teams have been formed to crack the case.
Archbishop Bernard Moras condemned the s ‘heinous crime' and urged police to solve urged pol the case quickly. Police probe asks was he felled by the sandalwood mafia who tried to chop sandalwood trees on the church grounds and had attacked the guard a few days ago? The guard was taking shelter from the heavy downpour and had left the church unguarded.
Or, was it a Tamil or Kannada group, upset with the Malayali speaking priest, who committed the crime? Heavy rain, accompanied by gusty winds and thunder, in Bengaluru on Sunday night helped assailants escape unnoticed after bludgeoning to death Rector, Father K.J. Thomas (62) on the premises of the St Peter's Pontifical Seminary.
Fr Thomas, a native of Ettumanoor in Kottayam district, was part of the Ooty Diocese. According to the police, the seminary, where the incident took place, houses 150 theology students. But the campus was empty as the sessions for the students were over.
The investigators, who were trying to reconstruct the crime at the seminary on 8th Main, Malleswaram, said that the assailants had murdered him somewhere else on the campus and put the body in the tea room of the seminary.
Father Thomas’s room was ransacked, but no valuables were stolen. Several important documents were found thrown around. The police said that the church security guard was in his quarters as it was raining heavily which helped assailants escape.
Father Thomas’s body will be taken to Kottayam for burial after the postmortem.
The 62-year-old Rector, Father K.J. Thomas was scheduled to pick up his sister, a nun with the Pondicherry Diocese early Monday morning from the railway station.
When he did not attend to any of her calls after she landed, she headed for the church, where another priest had found the Rector’s body and alerted the police. He broke the news to her.
While the police are yet to ascertain the motive behind the murder, several theories are doing the rounds. One of them is that he was attacked by some robbers. It is said that only a few days ago, a gang of robbers had attacked a guard on the campus while attempting to cut sandalwood trees. The other theory is that either a Tamil or Kannada group that was inimical to the Malayalee priest may have committed the crime.