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Police hunt seminary rector's killer

Priest found bludgeoned to death

Christopher Joseph, Kochi

April 2, 2013

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Police in Bangalore have launched a murder inquiry after the rector of a major seminary in the city was found bludgeoned to death early on Monday morning.

Father K. J. Thomas, 62, was found by another priest lying in a pool of blood in a corridor near his room at St. Peter's Seminary at about 4 am, police say.

According to the officer in charge of the investigation, Fr Thomas was killed not long after midnight.  He was last seen by Father Patrick Xavier,  who found the body, at 10.30 pm on Sunday night as he was going to his room.

Preliminary investigations suggest that Fr Thomas was attacked after answering a knock on his door. Bloodstains found in the corridor suggest the priest had tried to escape or the body had been dragged to where it was found by the coffee room, the policeman said. He also said boot marks made from the dead priest's blood suggest there was more than one assailant. 

"He sustained two or three injuries to the head. He bled to death.”  

Despite the priest’s room being ransacked, the investigator ruled out robbery saying nothing valuable was missing.

“We cannot ascertain a motive yet," he said.  

Fr Thomas was a native of Kerala state and a former priest in Ooty diocese in Tamil Nadu.

He had taught at the seminary in Bangalore for the past three decades according to Church sources.

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