Parishioners want probe into suicide of asst priest

Parishioners want probe into suicide of asst priest

Around 600 parishioners protested outside the office of the parish priest at Shirva Church, demanding a probe into the suicide of Assistant Priest Fr Mahesh D’Souza, who had been serving as principal of Don Bosco School.

Fr D’Souza allegedly committed suicide in the principal’s chamber at Shirva on October 11.

Alleging that the priest had been compelled to take the extreme step, the agitators urged the authorities to make public the investigation report on the suicide. The large gathering of protesters on November 2 had postponed the stir, following an assurance by the Udupi Bishop Rev Fr Gerald Lobo that a parish council meeting would be held to discuss the issue.

They were joined by Kaup MLA Lalaji Mendon, who also attended the council meeting. Former Minister Pramod Madhwaraj also spoke to the agitators. They demanded that a separate official agency take up the case for investigation.

Speaking on the occasion, Superintendent of Police Nisha James said that the death cause was personal. The cameras installed on campus had been functioning and the evidences had been collected.

She said that she was personally monitoring the investigation. “The family had complained about the death. The assistant priest’s uncle filed a case after seeing the body. A case has been registered and an inquest was held, with Fr D’Souza’s mother and brother as witnesses. They are, however, least suspicious regarding the death,” said James.

“The provisional post mortem report also revealed that it is the natural case of hanging. There is material physical evidence also of the priest himself carrying the rope for hanging. There is no interference and no criminal liability against anyone. The viscera samples have been sent to FSL regional office in Mangaluru. Only after the details are procured, the final post mortem report will be available,” the superintendent added.

Speaking further, James said, “The other evidence is that the priest’s two phones have been seized and are under investigation. Both mobile phones have been sent to FSL in Bengaluru. As the investigation is under progress, no more details cannot be revealed.” She also said that, as the family of the deceased priest had personally requested, the personal details that led to the death of Fr D’Souza cannot be revealed.