The Karnataka High Court on Feb. 3 granted bail to an 86-year-old Catholic priest, who is among 12 people the police accused of conspiring and murdering Father K.J. Thomas, rector of St. Peter's Pontifical Seminary nearly three years ago.
Justice A.V. Chandrashekar said the decision to grant bail to Father I. Anthappa after his age and health were considered, and he was asked to cooperate with the police investigation.
The court also directed the priest to surrender to the police within 20 days and furnish a bail bond of 200,000 rupees (US$3,000).
Media reports quoting police sources say the murder is linked to a simmering language-based ethnic rivalry in Bangalore Archdiocese, in which local Kannada-speaking Catholics fight for supremacy in the affairs of the church.