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Catholic priest killed in Meerut diocese (Agra)

ICC Note: Though the motive is unclear in this latest murder, it is very suspicious that the priest was killed during the flare up against Christians in Orissa.

by Nirmala Carvalho
9/22/08 Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Another Catholic priest has been murdered in India. Fr Samuel Francis (in photo), better known as Swami Astheya (he who is without greed), was found dead this morning in the chapel of his ashram in the village of Chota Rampur. His hands were tied behind his back, his mouth gagged (with cloth) and injuries on his forehead. The 50-ear-old clergyman dressed like an Indian Sanyasin (Hindu monks who lead an ascetic life) and lived in an ashram (monastery) where he taught yoga and meditation.

Chota Rampur, the village where the catholic priest found a refuge, is located 27 kilometres from Dehradun, in the Suffragan diocese of Agra archdiocese, or some 400 kilometres from New Delhi.

How and why he was murdered is not yet clear, but police will not exclude the possibility that it might have been a robbery gone badly wrong. The ashram was in fact ransacked and a woman suffering from psychological problems was also found dead in the ashram’s warehouse… [Go To Full Story]