Indian police arrest suspect in death threat against cardinal

Say letter was sent as part of a personal grievance against a third party
Indian police arrest suspect in death threat against cardinal

Cardinal Telesphore Toppo at the Vatican in 2013 (AFP Photo/Johannes Eisele) reporter, Delhi
June 16, 2015
Police in India arrested a man on Monday in connection with an investigation into a death threat made last week against Cardinal Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi.

Jaya Roy, superintendent of police in Ranchi, in the eastern state of Jharkhand, identified the suspect as Devesh Kumar, who was arrested in Dumka district.

“He will be presented in court today [Tuesday] and then brought to Ranchi,” Roy told

Cardinal Toppo, who serves as archbishop of Ranchi, received a letter last week demanding the payment of 50 million rupees (US$780,000) and threatening death if the amount was not paid.

The letter was sent in the name of the People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI), a breakaway faction of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), though Roy said the suspect has no connection with the organization.

The suspect sent the letter to settle a personal score with a man identified only as Amit, the police official said.

“Kumar mentioned Amit’s name and telephone number in the letter so that Amit would face police investigation and arrest,” Roy told

He added that police are investigating any other links the suspect might have to criminal activity.

Cardinal Toppo acknowledged receipt of the death threat last week but said he had no idea why Maoists would have had any cause to threaten him.

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