Arrests in Indian seminary murder

Police move on three suspects

Police in India have arrested two priests and a layman in connection with the 2013 murder of a seminary rector.

The hunt for the killers of Fr K.J. Thomas has been ongoing since the Catholic priest’s body was discovered badly beaten at St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary in Bangalore on March 31 last year, Easter Sunday night.

Investigators have long believed that the murder was carried out by persons linked with the seminary or with the active support of someone living within. All those arrested have voiced their innocence, while supporters have protested at what they view as a conspiracy against the men.

The murder has served to shine a light on alleged ethnic tensions within St Peter’s, with reports of a division between ethnic Kannadiga Christians and migrant Tamil-speaking Catholics, reflective of such tensions more widely in Karnataka state. Supporters of the accused men are drawn from the Kannadiga community which has alleged that community members have been repeatedly overlooked for promotion within the seminary.