You are here: Rediff Home » India » News » Report
Search: The Web
  Discuss this Article   |      Email this Article   |      Print this Article

Cyberabad police nab Hindu activist for killing of two Christian pastors
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad
Get news updates:What's this?
June 26, 2005 15:02 IST

The Cyberabad police has achieved a major breakthrough in cracking the case of the gruesome killing of two Christian pastors on the city outskirts a month ago, with the arrest of the prime suspect with links to a Hindu militant organisation.

In a joint operation, the Special Operation Team of the Cyberabad police and the Counter-Intelligence team of the Hyderabad police finally zeroed in on the accused Goverdhan after interrogating a score of Hindu Vahini, Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists.

The police claimed that three persons allegedly owing allegiance to Hindu Vahini had abducted and killed the two pastors on May 20 and 25 respectively, enraged over the evangelical activities of the victims.

However, Hindu Vahini has denied any role in the killings and alleged that the police had tortured its activists to 'implicate' them in the murder cases.

Pastor K Daniel (35), a resident of Asifnagar, was found murdered at Shamshabad on May 20. The body of Pastor Isaac Raj (55), a resident of Raidurgam, was found at Golconda on May 25.

Both were taken from their homes a day prior to their killing by some acquaintances on the pretext of prayer meetings in the neighbourhood.

Prime accused Goverdhan, an autorickshaw driver, along with two other accomplices Satyanarayana and Ganesh, had masterminded the killings of the two pastors.

The victims were taken to isolated spots on the city outskirts and strangulated to death with ropes. The assailants then stuffed their half-burnt bodies in gunny bags and dumped them at different spots.

The police said the three accused were activists of Hindu Vahini, an organisation opposed to religious conversions.

They felt emboldened to commit the murders after the Orissa high court commuted the death sentence of Dara Singh in the sensational murder case of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons.

The motive for the killing of the pastors was to avenge the conversion of  a close relative of prime accused Goverdhan.

Before resorting to the gruesome killings, Goverdhan and his associates had earlier assaulted Daniel and threatened Isaac Raj after they had held prayer meetings in their neighbourhood.

Hyderabad city and Cyberabad police had formed several teams to crack the twin cases for over four weeks.

A manhunt is on to nab the two other suspects who are absconding.

The state government had recently announced ex-gratia of Rs 3 lakh each to the families of the two pastors. The victims' families were also sanctioned houses under the weaker sections housing scheme.

 Email this Article      Print this Article

© 2008 India Limited. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer | Feedback