Rector murder case – Four more priests chargesheeted.

TNN | Dec 9, 2015, 06.00AM IST

BENGALURU: Police investigating the murder of rector Fr KJ Thomas have filed an additional chargesheet, accusing seven more persons, including four Catholic priests, of involvement in the crime. Fr Thomas was hacked to death inside St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary in Yeshwantpur on April 1, 2013. The first chargesheet filed in June 2014 named five persons. Three prime accused, Fr Illyas, Fr William Patrick and Peter, are lodged at the Parappana Agrahara central prison. After the magistrate’s court recently issued a nonbailable warrant, two absconding accused moved the sessions court for anticipatory bail. An investigating officer told TOI that the murder was the outcome of rivalry between two groups.

“The accused wanted to enjoy power and position in the seminary . But their plans were shattered when Fr Thomas, who was to retire in 2013, was given an extension of three years,” the officer said.

In their confession statement, the trio had described how they attacked Fr Thomas and killed him.

“Using an iron rod, we hit him on the head. He fell down and we jumped on his chest,” they had told police. Due to their weight, the rector’s ribs were fractured and lungs punctured.

Partners in crime

The seven persons mentioned in the additional chargesheet: Fr I Anthappa, a Rajyotsava awardee; Rita Rini, editor, Maathu Kathe, a Kannada monthly; Fr Chesara, leading Christian composer and writer; Fr A Thomas, president, Kannada Catholic Priests’ Conference; Raphael Raj, general secretary, Akhila Karnataka Catholic Christara Kannada Sangha; Anthony Prasad, vice-president of the Sangha; Father Anbu John.