Priest from Kerala killed in Bangalore
By Express News Service | Published: 02nd April 2013 08:35 AM |
A 62-year-old rector was found murdered inside St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, located next to a church at Malleswaram 8th Main, in the wee hours of Monday.
The police said the assailants escaped with some valuables after striking the rector’s head with a blunt weapon before strangulating him with his dhoti.
The victim, Fr K J Thomas, a native of Kerala, had been staying at the seminary for the past five years. He was the managerial as well as spiritual head of the church and used to train priests.
According to the police, the incident took place around 2 am and was noticed at 4 am when Fr Patrick Xavier of the seminary found Rector Thomas’ body lying on the floor in a pool of blood at the visitor’s hall on the first floor. He immediately informed the local police.
The police said they suspect it to be a case of murder for gain, as a group of assailants ransacked his room and also tried to break into Fr Xavier’s room.
According to Fr Xavier, Thomas and he had dined around 7.30 pm and talked till 9.30 pm. Later they went to sleep around 10 pm. Between 2 am and 3 am, Patrick heard a loud noise. However, he did not bother to inspect as he
thought it came from the road outside. After a while, he came out of his room and found blood stains on the floor. He followed the blood stains, which lead to Thomas’ body near the entrance of the visitor’s hall.
A police source said, “The assailants took `700 from his shirt pocket. They also checked some files and documents. Thomas was staying in his office room, which is attached to his bedroom. All the trainees are on vacation. So Thomas and Patrick were the only two staying at the seminary.”
Security guard Ram Singh, who was on night duty at the church, reportedly did not hear any sound owing to heavy rain at the time of the attack. The assailants entered the seminary by jumping over the backyard and entered Thomas’ room. They dragged him out, chased him and killed him while he tried to escape, sources said.
It is also said that a week ago Thomas had a quarrel with a man concerning a nearby school’s compound, which is attached to the seminary, and Thomas had allegedly slapped him, said sources. On Sunday night, Thomas’ elder sister had called from Kerala and told him that she was on her way to Bangalore. Upon arriving in the city in the wee hours, she called his cell phone repeatedly without any response. Early Monday morning, she reached the seminary and learned about Thomas’ tragic death.