Though the CBI Special Court has awarded twin life sentence and a fine of Rs 35,000 to Raghukumar, the prime accused in Father Chitilapally murder case, the church authorities in Thrissur doubt a larger conspiracy behind the murder. In fact, they were not satisfied with the police investigation into this case at its very beginning.
The local police had arrested Raghukumar a week after the murder of the 71-year-old church priest in the residence of Our Lady of Grace Parish at Thuruthiparambu in the Diocese of Thrissur. The then Archbishop of Thrissur Jacob Thoomkuzhy had alleged that the arrest of Raghukumar, a suspected drug addict, was an attempt to cover up a larger conspiracy behind the crime.
Though Reghukamar, 25, had apparently confessed to the crime, the church authorities were upset over the murder and believed that he was paid by someone who had an interest in the priest’s death.
For supporting their claim, the then bishop had accused that the murder was related to the renovation of a local Hindu temple in Thuruthiparambu, the place where the priest was killed. According to him, some radical groups wanted to revive the temple, next to Our Lady of Grace in Thuruthiparambu, which had been closed for some 20 years after it turned to a dilapidated condition. And two year before the murder, a group of Hindu activists led by a Hindu priest came forward to renovate it.
The priest had then reportedly told the local Hindus that the temple could be revived only by offering the blood of another priest as a temple priest was killed here some 25 years ago. He had also alleged that the man who arrested for the murder was a member of that Hindu group and the crime was a premeditated one. Disappointed by the police investigation and subsequent arrest of only one person in connection with the incident, the Thrissur Archdiocese had organised rallies and dharnas in the state demanding high-level probe.
Subsequently, the case was handed over to the CBI which has now held that the local police investigation into the case was in the right direction and the role of the accused was proved on the basis of witnesses’ declaration.