A priest was found dead on the church premises near Srimushnam in Cuddalore district, under mysterious circumstances on Wednesday morning.
James (36), a resident of Anikurrichan in Udayarpalayam taluk in Ariyalur district, had been serving as a priest in the church at Pudhukuppam near Srimushnam for the past three years.
He had been staying in a guest house near the church. On Wednesday morning, people who came to the church for prayer found the doors closed.
They knocked on the door of the room, where Fr James used to put up but he did not open the door.
On breaking open the door the villagers were shocked to find Father James lying dead inside.
Some people claimed to have seen Father James last on Tuesday around 11 pm on the church premises.
Relatives of the priest and villagers held protest demanding police to probe into the murder.
Sethiathope DSP Suresh Babu and Srimushnam police inspector Murali held talks with the people and sent the body to Chidambaram government hospital for post-mortem.