Rector murder case: Arrests riddled with questions

Rector murder case: Arrests riddled  with questions

 Even as the police claimed on Friday that they have solved the sensational murder of Fr K J Thomas, the Rector of St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Malleswaram, several questions remain unanswered.

The Home department’s unseen hands reportedly forced the Bangalore City police to hasten the investigation.

Following mounting pressure by some organisations seeking a CBI probe into the murder, Home Minister K J George held a meeting with senior police officers at the Vidhana Soudha on February 6 and fixed March 31 as the deadline for filing the charge sheet.

When the officers expressed their helplessness in cracking the case and the possibility of the court pulling up the police in case of faulty investigations, George ordered them to announce the arrests at least by March 31.

Though George himself wanted to announce the arrests, the model code of conduct forced him to stay away from the press conference, top police sources told Deccan Herald.

Doubts about the police claims have intensified with DG and IGP Lalrokhuma Pachuau and Bangalore Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar, who addressed a press conference to announce the arrest of two Catholic priests and a student, refusing to divulge any details of the investigation.

The probe team members said: “We have just followed the instructions and announced the arrests before the deadline, though the case is yet to be cracked in the real sense.”

The officers were under pressure to complete the task within the stipulated time and hence the arrests were announced “purely based on loose statements, claims and circumstantial evidences.”

At the press conference, Auradkar said, “More than 2,000 people were examined. Fingerprints taken from the spot were matched with the fingerprint database of known offenders in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa and Puducherry.” But he did not answer if the fingerprints matched with those of the three arrested.

The police also claimed that iron rods and other lethal weapons were used for the murder, but they chose to remain silent on whether the weapons had been recovered. The police also claimed that two mobile phones and a bike were recovered.

During the initial days after the murder, the police had maintained that they collected call details of the entire Yeshwantpur area, but nothing could provide crucial leads. But now, they claim that the recovered mobile phones were used for communication among the suspects, which baffles reasoning, added the sources. The sources said if the charge sheet is submitted based on the present evidences and claims, it could fall flat in the court of law.

The murder was committed by professionals and it could even be a contract killing. The three arrested are not professional killers and would have surely left behind sufficient clues. But there were hardly any clues found.

The arrested men did have differences with the Rector. It could also be true that they might have been a part of a larger conspiracy, but they themselves may not have killed him, the sources said. The police top brass did not entertain questions about the association of the arrested with some others who are said to be involved in the crime.

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