Kerala catholic priest stabbed to death by staff member
Police said Jhonny, a sexton of the Malayattoor church, who was under suspension, allegedly stabbed Father Xavier Thelekkat, 52, several times and fled to the forest.Updated: Mar 01, 2018 16:58 IST
A Catholic priest in Kerala’s Ernakulam district was stabbed to death allegedly by the church’s former sexton near his office on Thursday.
Police said Jhonny, a sexton of the Malayattoor church, who was under suspension, allegedly stabbed Father Xavier Thelekkat, 52, several times and fled to the forest. Jhonny was the in charge of maintenance of the church’s buildings and the graveyard.
According to the church spokesperson Jimmy, the priest was coming down the hill as part of the Kuruishmala pilgrimage when the incident took place.
“It took place at the sixth sector of the pilgrimage around 10.45 am, when the sexton suddenly came in front of the priest and following an argument, stabbed Thelekat,” Jimmy said.
The priest was rushed to the nearby hospital where he succumbed to injuries.
According to church insiders, the priest had detected some malpractices and had placed the sexton under suspension. He had allegedly confronted the priest about the suspension and both got engaged in a verbal duel. Enraged Jhonny allegedly took out the knife hidden in his cloth and stabbed the priest, they said.
Police are out to arrest him and have sought the help of forest personnel.
Father Xavier, a native of Kochi, was attached to the Angamaly diocese of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church and was the rector of the Kuruishmala Church for the last seven years.
(With inputs from IANS)