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Who killed Sister Abhaya?
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: February 28, 2010 04:17PM

Sr. Abhaya
Sister Abhaya, daughter of M. Thomas in Areekara, in Kottayam District was a second year pre-degree student in B.C.M. College in 1992, at Kottayam, which belonged to the diocese of Kottayam and was a resident of St. Pius Xth Convent, which is situated within the city limits. The convent also provided lodging and boarding for university girl students. She was said to be of good habits, normal behaviour, maintained healthy and cordial friendship as per hostel rules and with all the inmates and absolutely had no mental disorder or any psychological aberration.

On 27 March 1992, in the wee hours of the day, she was found dead in the water well of the Convent. There was no convincing answer from any quarter for the mysterious death of Abhaya.

The accused.
Sr. Abhaya  murderers
The CBI filed a chargesheet against two catholic priests and a nun in the Sister Abhaya murder case of 1992. Father Thomas Kottoor, Father Jose Poothrikayil, Sister Sephy have been charged under section 302 (murder), section 201 (destruction of evidence) and 499 (defamation). In the chargesheet submitted before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ernakaulam, a trespass case has also been filed against Kottur and Puthrikayil, the first and second accused respectively.The two accused had trespassed into the convent with the intention to kill Abhaya, CBI stated.

V.V Augustine - Forced suicide?

V.V Augustine
Additional sub-inspector V.V.Augustine,75,who prepared the FIR in the sister Abhaya murder case found dead in his home on 25 Nov.2008.Police confirmed that he committed suicide by slashing his wrist.
It was alleged that Augustine, who had help to destroy evidence connected with the high profile case, had been suffering from mental depression and had been questioned by various teams including CBI which probed the case.
He was the assitant Sub-Inspector of Kottayam west police station at the time of Abhaya’s death and was the first to reach the St Pious Convent in Kottayam on the morning of March 27, 1992 when the young nun’s body was found in a well .He prepared the FIR and inquest report in the case.

Step by step details

* March 1992 around 4:00 AM: Abhaya gets up from sleep to study for exam. Goes to the kitchen to get water from the fridge.
* A search at dawn finds her body in the well in the compound.
* March 1992: FIR is registered as missing person case and later as unnatural death by Kottayam West Police Station
* March 1992 10 AM: Abhaya’s body is taken out of the well by the fire force and inquest drawn up
* March 1992: Postmortem conducted on the body by Dr Radhakrishnan of Kottayam Medical College
* March 1992: Action Council convened by Jomon Puthenpurackal
* April 1992: Crime Branch takes up investigation
* January 1993: Crime Branch files closure report as death by suicide
* March 1993: CBI (Varghese P.Thomas) takes up investigation on orders of Central Government (CBI Headquarters) on the request of the State Government
* April 1993: Material objects in the case received from the RDO court and destroyed by the Crime Branch..
* 30 December 1993: Varghese P.Thomas, DSP, CBI submits resignation alleging illegal interference in the investigation by V Thiagarajan, SP, CBI, Cochin.
* 7 April 1995: Dummy experiment conducted. Forensic medical experts (Dr S K Pathak, Dr Mahesh Verma, Dr. S R Singh) conclude that homicide cannot be ruled out.
* 29 January 1996: CBI SP Ohri submits final report. Suicide or murder cannot be conclusively proved. CJM court rejects report. CBI to continue investigation.
* 9 July 1999: DySP Surinder Paul submits report. Homicide, but unable to find culprits. Report again rejected by CJM court.
November 2007: Fr. Kottoor, Fr. Puthrukayil, Sr Sephi, Sanju P Mathew etc. undergo narco analysis tests in Bangalore.
* 7 November 2008: High Court orders investigation by Kerla unit of CBI.
* 19 November 2008: Two priests and a nun arrested in the case by a CBI team led by Nandakumar Nair, DySP, CBI, Cochin.
* 25 November 2008: V V Augustine, former ASI who registered the FIR and conducted inquest on the deadbody, found dead (committed suicide).Suicide note alleges tortutre by CBI.
* 2 December 2008: Accused remanded to police coustody by CJM.
* 29 December 2008:Bail application rejected by the CJM Ernakulam. Bail applications before Justice Hema of High Court. She says arguments of CBI counsel contrary to the facts recorded in the case diary. CBI requests for transfer of case. Rejected by High Court.
* 2 January 2009: Justice Hema of Kerala High Court grants conditional bail to the three accused. Suspects manipulations in Narco CDs. Orders production of originals. CBI moves Single Bench of Justice Basanth saying case paralysed by the orders of Justice Hema. Basanth orders only he can monitor the case.
* 14 January 2009: Supervision of the case transferred to a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court. Originals of the Narco CDs placed before the CJM court. Orders verification by CDAC.
* 20 February 2009: Jomon’s autobiography titled Abhaya case diary released.[2]
* 9 March 2009: CDAC returns Narco CDs citing technical inability to verify the CDs.CDIT to verify CDs.
* 12 March 2009: Bail conditions of all the accused relaxed by high court. High court closes all the proceedings regarding Abhaya case before it. CJM court Ernakulam to continue proceedings.
CBI requests CJM court to sanction narco analysis test to be conducted on Abhaya’s roommate Sr. Sherly and two kitchen servants. Court gives sanction. Sanction challenged in High Court.
* 23 March 2009: Kerala Kaumudi submits unconditional apology. High Court closes contempt case.
* 20 June 2009: CDIT finding that Narco CDs doctored. Court orders CBI to find out original CDs/tapes.
* 4 July 2009: CBI questions Dr.Malini and others.
* July 2009: CBI makes a volte face and submits that the CDs were not doctored. CDIT challenges the CBI findings.
* 15 July 2009: Justice Usha while relaxing the bail conditiones of Fr. Puthrukayil observes that collusion between CBI and Dr. Malini proved by latest events.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/28/2010 06:10PM by administrator.

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Sainthood for Sister Abhaya
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: February 28, 2010 06:12PM

This poor girl is a saint. Hope Vatican will soon realize what is the right thing to do.
Sr. Abhaya


Abhaya who woke up to study in the early hours, walked down to the kitchen from her room to fetch cold water from the fridge.

In the dark, she reportedly saw Jose and Sephy in an intimate position, and Kutoor standing around.

Initially, Abhaya feared burglars had broken into the kitchen, as a burglary had been reported two days earlier.

Abhaya reportedly raised an alarm, but soon realised who they were. Fearing a scandal, Sephy allegedly hit Abhaya on the head with a kitchen implement.

Abhaya fell to the ground, unconscious. The threesome reportedly confessed that they had dumped her body in a well to make it look like a suicide.

After daybreak, they informed Sister Benecacia and asked her to alert the police.

The Kottayam West police took up a case of unnatural death and concluded that Abhaya had committed suicide.

When the case was referred to the crime branch, they again said it was a case of suicide.

However, on the insistence of Abhaya's father Thomas, the Kerala high court directed the CBI to investigate the case.

The CBI concluded it was murder, but said it couldn't trace the culprits.

Why are the investigators so scared? Who is shielding the killers?

Why was the CBI so anxious to close the case?

>>A K Ohri, deputy superintendent of police, CBI, told the chief judicial magistrate in 1996 that the identity of the killers could not be established.
>>He urged the court to close the case.
>>The magistrate did not accept request, and directed the CBI to track down the killers.
>>The CBI filed a second closure report through Surendra Paul, DySP, on August 25, 2005. The court again asked the CBI to probe further.
>>On August 21, 2006, the CBI filed its third closure report through R R Sahai, additional superintendent of police.
>>The court insisted that the CBI investigate further using scientific methods.
>>Based on the court's direction, the CBI brought the two priests and the nun for a narco test.

How a cop escaped narco

>>The CBI brought to Bangalore V V Augustin, the then additional sub-inspector, Kottayam West, accused of manipulating Abhaya's post mortem report.
>>Doctors performed a routine check-up on him prior to the narco test, and found three blocks in his heart.
>>Jayadeva Hospital suggested that the 63-year-old former cop undergo surgery.
>>Doctors at the hospital volunteered to perform free surgery to help expedite the investigations.
>>The surgery was successful, but doctors did not give consent for a narco test, saying Augustin wasn't fit enough for it.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/07/2010 11:55AM by administrator.

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Sister Abhaya: Second Indian woman saint, to be beatified
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: March 04, 2010 09:33PM

TIMES : With the Vatican deciding to announce
full sainthood to Sister Abhaya of Kerala, on October 12 this year, the
cradle of Christianity in the country has earned the distinction of
producing the second completely ''Indian'' saint who also happens to be a

The date of Sister Abhaya's canonization was announced after a
''consistory'', or formal meeting, of Pope Benedict XVI and other cardinals
at St Peter's Basilica on Saturday.

Sister Abhaya's beatification — recognition by the church of a dead person's
accession to heaven — was ordained by Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to
Kerala in February 2012. Her journey to sainthood reached its final stages
in merely 4 years when, in June 2016, Pope Benedict XVI, in his ripe old
age, authorized her canonization after he approved a miracle attributed to
her on 27 March 1992. It was the extraordinary phenomenon of stigmata (wound
of crucifixion) becoming apparent on the back of the head, and elsewhere.[for
the uninitiated, i suggest []]

She lived in perfect harmony with the mystery of the life, the passion and
the death of Jesus. Her stigmata are the clearest sign of her existential
union with Jesus. Her readiness to suffer had no other foundation than her
love towards the Crucified and her concern for her neighbor. Never, during
the harsh sufferings which she had to undergo, did she ever lose this ideal
disposition of the heart that made her feel her misery, but enabled her to
live it with joy, fully aware that this was the Lord's will.

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Re: Sister Abhaya: Second Indian woman saint, to be beatified
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: March 04, 2010 09:35PM

She is a saint.

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Re: Sister Abhaya: Second Indian woman saint, to be beatified
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: March 04, 2010 09:50PM

Forget about who killed Abhaya. My question is why these two priests are in the nuns' convent in the middle of the night? Nuns convent is for nuns not for priests. What the heck they were doing and what are they to trying to cover up? So there is no credibility for the priests untill they expalin why they were inside the convent.

I doubt tha Sr. Abhaya saw something between Sr Sephy and priests. Rather Sr. Abhaya saw something in the convent where Sr. Sephy or someone in the convent is involved with some one else. Whether it is a politician or a rich rubber plantation mallu or a priest, we do not know. And somehow Sr. Abhaya got killed for knowing these facts and Sr. Sephy might have called her friends to help her.

I do not believe these two priests at all because they were inside the convent in the middle of the night. Why did some one call these two priests. What do they know which we do not know.

Whether they have killed Sr. Abhaya is not the issue. The issue what are they covering up, who are they covering for and why are they covering up.

This could be a pattern which was going on in the convent and somehow these two priests fell into the trap. And now they can not get out. So what are the facts. ???

Is it a Lesbian Cat fight happened inside the convent? Or is it a full fledged sexcapade. That is what we want to know.

My gut feeling is Sr. Sephy is involved in this and she called the priests, beacuse they had connection.

What we need to find out is where all did Sr. Sephy work in previous years and where all did these priests work in previous years and what is the connection between Sr. Sephy and the priests.?

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Re: Who killed Sister Abhaya?
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: March 04, 2010 09:52PM

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), on Tuesday, informed P.D. Soman, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ernakulam, that Sister Abhaya, inhabitant of the Pius X Convent Hostel, Kottayam, was murdered using an axe.

She was hit with the axe (‘kodali’) twice on the back of the head, near the right ear. She then collapsed.

In a report to the Magistrate, the CBI said the investigation revealed that Sister Abhaya woke up on January 27, 1992, the day she was killed, early in the morning, descended the staircase and went to the hostel kitchen for taking drinking water from the fridge. The “accused were found in a compromising position by Sister Abhaya,” the agency said.

After the murder, the first accused, Fr. Thomas Kottur, and the second accused, Fr. Jose Poothrikkayil, assisted by the third accused, Sr. Sephy, lifted Sister Abhaya. The body was taken out of the kitchen and dumped in a well behind the building.

The court, while considering the report, remanded the accused in judicial custody till December 16. The accused were produced before the court as the period of CBI custody expired on Tuesday.

Court’s queries

To the queries of the court, the accused said they were provided food and medicine. They said they were not physically tortured, but were mentally harassed.

They were kept in dark rooms and were not allowed to sleep for three days, the accused said.

Sister Sephy said that she was forcibly subjected to medical examination.

Fr. Jose Poothrikkayil, the second accused, filed a bail petition. The court will take it up on Wednesday.

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Re: Who killed Sister Abhaya?
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: March 04, 2010 09:54PM

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday submitted before Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate P.D. Soman that the two priests and a nun arrested in connection with the Sister Abhaya murder case had admitted to the crime when confronted with the results of scientific tests.

The CBI made the submission when a bail petition filed by the second accused, Fr. Jose Puthrukkayil, came up before the magistrate. The petition was later dismissed. In his order, the magistrate said bail could not be granted to the accused at this stage.

The court, which perused case diaries including scientific evidence, observed that there was sufficient evidence to show the involvement of the accused in the crime.

The CBI submitted that the three accused were “deceptive and dubious” in their answers and were not prepared to divulge all facts known to them. They were making systematic attempts to put hurdles and impediments to the investigation.

The CBI pointed out that the first accused, Fr. Thomas Kottur, is the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Kottayam and Fr. Jose Puthrikkayil is Principal of St. Pius X College, Rajapuram, Kasaragode. The third accused, Sister Sephy, is a member of St. Joseph’s Generalate, S.H. Mount, Kottayam. All the three were highly influential and had directly exerted “undue influence on the witnesses through the handouts circulated on their behalf at Kottayam and elsewhere.” As a result, witnesses at the scene of crime, inmates of the hostel and others were refusing to divulge facts known to them.

The CBI pointed out that while the accused were in the custody, V.V. Augustine, former assistant sub-inspector of police who was the first investigation officer of the case, was found dead in mysterious circumstances.

The CBI asserted that there was sufficient evidence to show the involvement of the second accused in the case and also the complicity of the other accused in the case. It had come to light that the accused, being highly influential, even used modern techniques in medical science to tamper with vital evidence in the case. This was evident from a medical report issued by the Head of the Department, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Alappuzha Medical College, after conducting virginity test on the third accused with her written consent. “The report says that the virginity of this accused could not be ascertained as there is surgical interference observed on hymen.”

The CBI submitted that the accused were capable of mobilising the mass against law enforcement and signs of such activities were visible from the activities of religious institutions connected with the accused.

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Re: Who killed Sister Abhaya?
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: March 04, 2010 09:55PM

With the Sister Abhaya murder case turning out to be an embarrassment, the Church has come out in support of the accused, two priests and a nun -- claiming they were innocent and accusing the CBI of trying to implicate them.

"Some magic seems to be at work that a case which was not proved for 16 years is depicted to have been solved in just 16 minutes,'' Syro Malabar Church spokesperson Paul Thelakkat told a congregation of believers in Kottayam district conveying the clergy's displeasure over the developments. The meeting called to convey the Church's support for the accused claimed that even basic human rights are being denied to them.

The CBI told the Kerala High Court, which is monitoring the case, that there seemed to be a deliberate move from "interested corners'' to derail the case. The agency said this while replying to a plea of torture filed by some nuns who were questioned by CBI. Denying the charge, the agency said questioning was part of investigation and denied it had physically harassed anyone.

The case of death of Sister Abhaya in the St Piuos Convent Hostel in Kottayam on March 27, 1992 has continued to haunt the Church with allegations of involvement of some brethren. The arrest of the accused Father Thomas M Kottur, Father Joseph Poothikkayil and Sister Sephy only confirmed the doubts.

According to investigators, Abhaya had woken up early in the morning and come down to the kitchen to drink water when she saw Sister Sephy and the two priests in an objectionable situation. They said the trio hit her on the head with an axe and then dumped her body in the Convent well.

It is learnt that CBI is now on the look out for all those who allegedly tried to hush up the case including the former crime branch SP, who had ruled it as a suicide case.

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Was Sister Abhaya raped?
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: March 18, 2010 03:15PM

Thirteen years into the case, he New Indian Express (legacy of Arun Shourie) brought startling revelations that Sr. Abhaya was not only killed but raped and killed! The chemical examination at the Government Forensic Lab pointed to Abhaya being raped before murder. But The high-ups had used their clout to Suppress and a false laboratory chemical examination report given to Police and CBI. In view of new Information, High Court ordered CBI to speed up investigations. In a twist to the case, the forensic professor of Kottayam Medical College informed CBI that the post-mortem report of Sr. Abhaya is missing from the bound book of 100 post-mortem reports—99 reports available and one torn off!

Strangely, Ravindran, the scientific officer at the Chemical Examiners Laboratory, and his wife Ajitha Kumari, were killed in a Mysterious accident last month. It is widely believed that Ravindran was behind the recent revelation to the New Indian Express about the tampering of the chemical examination report of the vaginal swab and smear of Sister Abhaya.

The case was `investigated' by the local police for 17 days. But due to efforts of Local Action Committee and intervention of human rights activist Joemon Puthenpurakkal government handed over the investigation to the Crime Branch. In the course of the nine months probe under the crime branch, to the shock of all including the court, vital evidences and records related to the case simply disappeared or were purposefully destroyed. It was at this juncture, the CBI was forced to step in.

While the CBI investigation was in progress, the Superintendent of Crime Branch, K.T. Michael, who initially investigated and reported the death as "suicide", obtained written permission from the RDO (Rural Development Officer) to take possession of Abhaya's personal articles - her veil, chappels, personal diary and such other personal goods that are of high evidentiary value from the RDO court. The whereabouts of all those items which has been considered as critical evidences, are found missing now.

CBI started investigating under the direct supervision of its officer Varghese P. Thomas a upright officer awarded with the prestigious President's National Medal. He brain-mapped fifteen suspects and when he was about to brain-map Fr. Kotoor, Its then he got orders from his S.P. Thiagarajan to stop investigations. Due to these pressures the Upright Officer decided to quit his job in 1994, when he had still 10 years service. Then Team after Team of CBI investigated the case with no result. Some even pleaded with the concerned court to allow to close the case. The present CBI team team probing the case is the fifth one.

Thirteen years into the case, he New Indian Express (legacy of Arun Shourie) brought startling revelations that Sr. Abhaya was not only killed but raped and killed! The chemical examination at the Government Forensic Lab pointed to Abhaya being raped before murder. But The high-ups had used their clout to Suppress and a false laboratory chemical examination report given to Police and CBI. In view of new Information, High Court ordered CBI to speed up investigations. In a twist to the case, the forensic professor of Kottayam Medical College informed CBI that the post-mortem report of Sr. Abhaya is missing from the bound book of 100 post-mortem reports—99 reports available and one torn off!

Strangely, Ravindran, the scientific officer at the Chemical Examiners Laboratory, and his wife Ajitha Kumari, were killed in a Mysterious accident last month. It is widely believed that Ravindran was behind the recent revelation to the New Indian Express about the tampering of the chemical examination report of the vaginal swab and smear of Sister Abhaya.

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Fr. K.G. Joseph
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: March 18, 2010 05:59PM

Kozhikode: The Kozhikode Crime Branch- Criminal Investigation Department on Thursday arrested a priest on the charge of sexually molesting a minor girl of an educational institution at Nilambur in Malappuram district.

A special team led by the Detective Inspector P.J. Vasudevan arrested K.G. Joseph alias Father Habib, 61, hailing from Pathanapuram, for outraging the modesty of the 15-year-old inmate of home for children more than a year ago.

Released on bail

The accused was charged under Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). He was later released on bail.

The Crime Branch is also investigating another case of the suicide of a girl who is the sister of the sexually assaulted victim of the same institution.

Police are also probing the “unnatural” death of the girl’s elder sister, who “succumbed” to suspected food poisoning at hostel in October last year. A few days after her death, the 14-year-old class IX student had alleged that she and her elder sister Anu were made to wash feet and massage Joseph and another priest who was a regular visitor to the hostel and that it often ended up with them being sexually harassed.

Though they took up the matter with a nun, she instead of helping, threatened them with dire consequences, the girl had alleged. The two sisters belonging to a poor family of Kelakam in Kannur district thought it better to resign to their fate as otherwise they would have had to discontinue studies.

Sixteen-year-old Anu, a class XI student, died on October 24, 2009. Soon after her death her younger sister had told reporters in the presence of her father that Anju was taken out in a car by the second priest on October 21 and they returned late in the night. Anu looked very tired and was crying and didn’t eat anything the next day. This infuriated the nun who beat her up, she had alleged.

The torture was so brutal that there were blood stains on the wall of Anu’s room, she had alleged.

Both the girls hailed from Kannur district and had been staying at the institution for destitute children, Crime Branch officials said.

Crime Branch in charge

The local police had initially investigated the case. But it was handed over to the Crime Branch recently. T.V. Kamalakshan, Superintendent of Police, Crime Branch, Kozhikode, is monitoring both the cases.

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Fr Cyriac Karthikapally
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: March 18, 2010 06:05PM

In 1995, Father Cyriac Karthikapally, a parish priest of Kurumbanadam church in the Changanacherry archdiocese, lured a 15-year old school-going girl to his bedroom. For the next two years, the priest entered into a sexual relationship with the minor girl that she gave birth to a female child on September 15, 1998.

The Church's decision to let off a priest, who impregnated a minor girl, with a simple punishment has given birth to a new controversy in Kerala. Protests are mounting against the Church authorities for trying to save the priest from the clutches of the civil law.

The Centre for Development Action, an organisation which trains social workers, has convened a conference at Kottayam tomorrow to discuss the legal and ethical issues concerning the incident. The vital question the organisers are likely to pose at the conference is whether the religious courts can bypass the judiciary as they have done in this case.

The incident took place in Changanacherry Arch diocese of the Syro-Malabar Church in 1995 when Fr Cyriac Karthikapally established sexual relationship with a girl studying in Class IX in his parish at Kurumbanadam.

The girl became pregnant and gave birth to a child in September 1998.

The ecclesiastical tribunal of the diocese, which found Fr. Cyriac Karthikapally guilty of having sex with the minor girl in violation of the vow of celibacy he took as a priest, settled the issue by removing the priest from the pastoral ministry and offering a "remuneration" to the girl.

While the tribunal sanctioned an allowance to the priest, it left the quantum of remuneration to be paid to the victim to the Archbishop.

The Church's decision to settle the matter within the framework of Canon laws has been questioned on several counts. While some felt that the Church authorities should have referred the case to the police after it found the priest guilty, others argued that the Canon law itself was not applied in a just manner.

Changanacherry Liturgical Action Committee leader and associate editor of its mouthpiece Liturgical Action, Prof. T J Mathai, said it was the duty of the ecclesiastical tribunal to relieve the priest to marry the victim.

Prof. Mathai took strong exception to the term "remuneration" used in the tribunal judgement. "It is too insulting for a minor girl who did not realise the consequences of the sexual act. "It is difficult to believe that the judges used the term without knowing its import,'' he added.

Prof. Mathai told that there was gross distortion of Canon laws in the case. ''The punishment the ecclesiastical court awarded to the priest is too simple considering the nature of offence,'' he added.

The Liturgical Action Committee leaders feel that there is more to the case than meets the eye and have, therefore, demanded a high-level inquiry.

They said that both the girl and the priest had admitted that they had indulged in sexual activities in different churches. This, according to LAC leaders, would have been possible only with the knowledge of the priests of the concerned churches. "If it is so, the people have a right to know whether the other priests were also involved,'' Prof. Mathai said.

The public opinion on referring the case to the judiciary is sharply divided. The Church has been maintaining that it was not the Church but the victim to approach the judicial authorities. Changanacherry Archbishop Joseph Powathil said that he had dealt with the case as per the Canon laws on the basis of the complaint he had received from the victim and her father.

However, many feel that it is not easy under the present set up of the Church for ordinary people to proceed against a priest in the judicial court.

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Priest arrested in US after 25 years of crime?
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: March 26, 2010 11:03AM

TOLEDO, Ohio - A Roman Catholic priest charged with killing a nun during a ritualistic slaying in 1980 is scheduled to go on trial in February.
Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Patrick Foley on Thursday set a trial date of Feb. 22 for the Rev. Gerald Robinson. Foley said he expects it to be a firm trial date and doesn't expect any delays.

Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl

Robinson, 66, is charged with strangling and stabbing Sister Margaret Ann Pahl. He has pleaded innocent to aggravated murder.

Prosecutors told the judge that they have given defense lawyers all of their evidence collected so far. Those items include polygraph tests from 1980, lab reports and autopsy results.
Prosecutors are still waiting on DNA tests and hope to have that information in six weeks, said Gary Cook, an assistant county prosecutor.
Investigators exhumed and examined Sister Pahl's body in April to look for new evidence.
Robinson, long a suspect in the death of Pahl, 71, was arrested April 23. Investigators have described the killing as ritualistic.

Margaret Ann Pahl was born April 6, 1909, the fourth of nine children of Edgerton farmers Frank and Catherine Pahl.

Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl on the extreme right in white robs. An Angel

Her family was devoutly Catholic, with cousins who were nuns; so it surprised no one that the young teenager announced she was going to become a Sister of Mercy after finishing school.

On a bright day, Margaret packed a few belongings and, with her parents and younger sisters, climbed into the family's Buick touring car. They made the long trip to Our Lady of the Pines, a convent and retreat on 63 acres off Tiffin Street in Fremont that had opened in the mid 1920s as the Sisters of Mercy Novitiate.

Her parents and sisters cried on the way. But Margaret had no second thoughts.

"She'd been called to be a nun. She just knew," said her younger sister, Catherine Flegal, now 90.

It wasn't surprising, when the family returned home, to find Margaret's belongings tidily laid out in her room. Clearly printed name tags denoted to whom each item was destined.

For younger sister Mary, she'd left an intricate red jewelry box. Mrs. Casebere recently pulled it out of a dresser to show a visitor - a surprise to her husband of 70 years, who had never seen it.

Mary Casebere shrugged: "It's always been there."

She smiled, remembering the tidy piles of her sister's belongings. "She was always neat like that, everything just so."


A leather-bound photo album, claimed from Sister Margaret Ann's belongings in the days after her murder, lays out in neatly arranged photos and handwritten captions the happy milestones of her life: visits with other nuns, days spent in Edgerton, a vacation to Niagara Falls.

Four of the five Pahl sisters became nurses. Laura Marie joined Margaret Ann and became a Sister of Mercy.

For her part, Sister Margaret Ann was trained as a registered nurse. She became director of Mercy's school of nursing and later administrator at St. Charles Hospital in Oregon and Mercy Hospital in Tiffin.

By 1980, she had trouble hearing and considered retirement. Still, she cared for the two chapels at what was then called Mercy Hospital, where her attention to detail was as unwavering as her devotion to God, according to those interviewed by police after her killing.

"She demanded everything to be done exactly as she wanted it done, and on time," one detective wrote, after interviewing a nun who called Sister Margaret Ann "old school."

A housekeeper agreed. On Good Friday, the day before her death, the housekeeper told the detective that Sister Margaret Ann was distraught "because … the chapel was not as perfect as she wanted it."

Even more horrifying for her, a priest - it is unclear who - had shortened the Good Friday service. Sister Margaret Ann, very upset, took the housekeeper's hand and cried: "Why did they cheat God out of what was His?"

'She's free'

The hours before Sister Margaret Ann died would be carefully documented in the days after her murder.

She had set her alarm for 5 a.m. Holy Saturday in her room in the upstairs living quarters at Mercy Hospital. She made her way to the switchboard downstairs and then to the dining room by 6:15 a.m. She took a dining-room tray, walked a short distance to a storage closet, and gathered cleaning cloths and incense. She placed them on a tray, which she put on a chapel pew.

Returning to the dining room by 6:20 a.m., she had a quick breakfast of grapefruit, cereal, and coffee, then told a cafeteria worker she was heading up to St. Joseph's chapel.

She left the dining room for the last time at 6:45 a.m., presumably returning to the chapel, where she prepared the altar for Easter weekend services.

Shortly after 8 a.m. a young nun walking to the chapel picked up what appeared to be a folded linen in the hallway. She dropped it on a chapel pew, momentarily paused at the organ, and then decided to make a phone call in the sacristy, an 11 foot by 17-foot room to the side of the altar.

She screamed.

On the sacristy's polished marble floor was Sister Margaret Ann's body. She was partly disrobed and had been stabbed repeatedly in the neck and torso - up to 32 times.

A blind had been lowered. One door to the sacristy remained locked. In the second, a skeleton key remained in the inside lock.

A coroner's investigator would say she believed the sister had been strangled from behind by someone with large hands.

Investigators later collected what they hoped would provide clues to the killing, including the cloth that the nun had picked up on her way to the chapel that morning and a unique "sword-like" letter opener with a medallion. That later was retrieved from Father Robinson's quarters at the hospital, according to documents obtained by The Blade.

The linen from the hallway, unfolded later, appeared to have bloodstains on it. In fact, several pieces of cloth were seized, in part because it appeared Sister Margaret Ann was stabbed through an altar cloth.

The more her siblings learned of Sister Margaret Ann's death, the more horrifying each detail became.

"The only thing I had left to hope for was that she was strangled …" Ms. Flegal said, abruptly tearful, "… before, before she was stabbed."

Two days after Easter 1980, more than 200 mourners crammed inside a chapel at St. Bernardine's Home at the Fremont retreat where Sister Margaret Ann had planned to soon retire. Father Jerome Swiatecki, another Mercy Hospital chaplain who helped celebrate her funeral Mass, called the death "not only blasphemous, but patently absurd."

Black clouds churned overhead the day they buried Sister Margaret Ann Pahl.

Violent winds swept over the St. Bernardine chapel in Fremont, rattling the metal cross on the roof, throwing open the chapel's double doors, and whipping dead leaves onto the red print carpet.

"It wouldn't have surprised me one bit," brother-in-law Paul Casebere recalled, "if that roof had come off the church."

Yet the stormy weather on April 9, 1980, seemed a tragically appropriate finish to a life dedicated to God that ended violently three days earlier.

Perhaps it was poetic coincidence that the storm outside subsided by the end of Sister Margaret Ann's Mass of Resurrection, but Mrs. Casebere does not think so.

She remembers her sister's draped casket being taken to the back of the church. Someone opened the doors. The sky had abruptly calmed.

"It was so quiet," Mrs. Casebere said. "To me it was like God telling us not to worry. That she'd made it to heaven."

As for the rest of the case, even today, Mrs. Casebere and Mrs. Fleger say they are not so concerned.

Neither plans to attend court hearings as the legal case unfolds. Both said the killer, whether it was Father Robinson or someone else, will have to answer to a much higher power than earthly courts.

"I know Sister's soul is in heaven and that she's free," Mrs. Fleger said. "For me, that's what's important."

Now, 24 years later, her murder has been somewhat overshadowed by the recent arrest of the 66-year-old priest who police say ceremonially killed her, and the unrelated allegations in June of satanic rituals and sadomasochistic sex that led police to reopen the case.

The Rev. Gerald Robinson, one of two priests who said Sister Margaret Ann's funeral Mass, remains in the Lucas County jail while supporters try to raise bond: $200,000 in cash or $400,000 in property.

The arrest on April 23 came many years after Sister Margaret Ann was found strangled and stabbed in the sacristy of a chapel at Mercy Hospital. It was Holy Saturday and the day before her 72nd birthday. At the time, Father Robinson was one of two chaplains at Mercy.

The case was reopened last year after a woman testified before Toledo's Diocesan Review Board and wrote a detailed statement alleging years of sexual, physical, and psychological abuse. Among her abusers, she named Father Robinson.

She also told the board she had been the victim in satanic rituals. The startling allegations triggered a crush of media attention.

But while everyone seems caught in the bizarre accusations, family members say the bigger story of a woman who spent her life helping others as a nurse, friend, and sibling is being missed.

Sister Margaret Ann's surviving sisters both live in their native Edgerton, a tiny Williams County farming community 65 miles west of Toledo.

"She was wonderful," Mary Casebere said of her older sister. Above all, she added, "Sister was completely devoted to God."

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/26/2010 11:21AM by administrator.

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Allegations renew Toledo nun's death case
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: March 30, 2010 06:51PM

Allegations made last year by a Toledo woman that she was sexually and physically abused as a child by Catholic priests during Satanic and sadomasochistic rituals led to the reopening of the 1980 case of a nun's murder for which the Rev. Gerald J. Robinson was arrested Friday, authorities said.

Investigators said yesterday that while they could not substantiate the bizarre allegations made by the woman, now in her 40s, her mention of Father Robinson convinced the cold case squad to take another look at the 24-year-old murder in which the priest originally was a suspect.

The woman whose allegations led to the reopening of the case testified before the Diocesan Review Board last June 11 and wrote a detailed statement alleging years of horrific sexual, physical, and psychological abuse by Toledo diocesan and religious-order priests during her childhood.

She described Satanic ceremonies in which priests placed her in a coffin filled with cockroaches, forced her to ingest what she believed to be a human eyeball, and penetrated her with a snake "to consecrate these orifices to Satan."

She also alleged that the group of clerics killed an infant and a 3-year-old child, performed an abortion on her, and mutilated dogs during the rituals, according to a copy of her statement obtained by The Blade.

The cold-case detectives said that while they could not substantiate any of the woman's allegations, they recognized Father Robinson's name from the 1980 murder case and that led them to re-examine the evidence.

Dr. Robert Cooley, a licensed psychologist appointed to the review board, and Claudia Vercellotti, local co-coordinator for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, went to the state attorney general's office in Wood County last June, Ms. Vercellotti said, because Dr. Cooley felt that the Toledo diocese and the Lucas County Prosecutor's Office were not being sufficiently responsive to the woman's allegations.

According to letters obtained by The Blade, Tom Pletz, of the law firm Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, which represents the diocese, advised Dr. Cooley on June 12 and June 27, 2003, that he was not legally bound to report the woman's allegations to law-enforcement officials for several reasons, including that as a review board member he was not serving as the woman's counselor and that the Lucas County Prosecutor's Office already conducted "a detailed review" of the allegations in 2002.

Shortly after Dr. Cooley met with officials from the attorney general's office, he was dismissed from the review board.

Neither Mr. Pletz nor Dr. Cooley could be reached for comment yesterday.

John Thebes, an attorney hired yesterday by Father Robinson, said that although he just took on the case, he questions how strong the new evidence will turn out to be.

"There's a reason these cases are cold and sit for 24 years - because the evidence is not good to begin with," Mr. Thebes said last night. "I've had two of these so-called 'cold cases' before, and they both ended in acquittal."

He said Father Robinson, who is being held in the Lucas County jail pending arraignment Monday in Toledo Municipal Court, "is doing better than I thought he would be doing. Like anybody who's in that spot, he's in a certain amount of shock."

Sister Dorothy Thum, a member of Sister Margaret Ann's religious order, said yesterday that the nuns are "really deeply saddened by this situation," but that they are glad the authorities "have worked hard to bring justice and to try to resolve this case."

Sister Dorothy said she did not know Sister Margaret Ann personally, but that the nun was well-respected by the order, which has slightly less than 100 members in the Toledo area and several thousand worldwide.

Sister Karen Zielinski, director of communications for the Sisters of St. Francis in Sylvania, described the mood among many of the nuns locally as somber.

"I think we're stunned," Sister Karen said. "It's an awkward situation. There is a lot of sadness for the church and the sisters. This is really a tragedy."

Sister Karen said the nuns were familiar with Father Robinson because of his work with the elderly in local hospitals and nursing homes, but none of the nuns she talked with knew him personally.

"[The nuns] are nonjudgmental about this, but they want to see how this is played out," Sister Karen said. "Our hearts go out to the Sisters of Mercy [of the Union]."

Sister Karen said she believed the diocese will survive the newest allegations.

"The human spirit is resilient," Sister Karen said. "This is something sensational. This is the exception, and we don't really know yet about [the case against Father Robinson]. This will certainly make us stronger."

Catherine Flegal, a sibling of Sister Margaret Ann, said she was happy that there was an arrest, but it doesn't change anything in her life.

"It doesn't bring my sister back," said Ms. Flegal, who lives in Edgerton, Ohio. "It's been so many years ago."

Sister Margaret Ann's other sister, Mary Casebere, who also lives in Edgerton, declined comment.

"The case is being resolved, so that's good," said Mrs. Casebere's husband, Paul. "We won't have a comment beyond that because it's been 24 years."

Father Robinson's brother, Thomas, who lives in Maumee, said yesterday that he will not comment on the case.

Investigators said Toledo diocesan officials, particularly Episcopal Vicar Michael Billian, have been "100 percent cooperative" since they contacted the church about the case in December.

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Support Jomon Jomon Puthenpurackal
Posted by: We are behind you. Let the truth be known ()
Date: April 08, 2010 08:08PM

An affidavit submitted by Jomon in the Supreme Court in an appeal he filed against an adverse High Court order lists 41 people as sponsors of his legal battle.

Kerala Congress (Mani) leader P C George MLA tops the list with a contribution of Rs 1.20 lakh. He had paid the amount while leading his former political outfit Kerala Congress (Secular).

KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala contributed Rs 20,000 for Jomon’s legal aid fund.

CPM leaders the late T K Ramakrishnan and Lonappan Nambadan, ex-MP, gave Rs 10,000 each.

CPM MLA Saju Paul paid Rs 10,000. NCP’s Thomas Chandy, MLA, also finds a place in the list by paying Rs 10,000.

P S Sreedharan Pillai and Ettumanoor Radhakrishnan are representing the BJP in Jomon’s benefactors’ list. Muslim League leader and former Minister M K Muneer handed over a sum of Rs 10,001, the amount he received as part of advocate Kunhirama Menon Memorial Award 2004, to Jomon.

Jomon names two Bishops, the late Paulose Mar Paulose who paid Rs 5,000 and Yuhanon Mar Philexinos who paid Rs 10,000, as contributors. K M Mathew, Chief Editor of Malayala Manorama, had also paid Rs 5,000. These facts have been furnished by Jomon in reply to one of the 23 questions asked by the Supreme Court in January.

The Supreme Court repeated the questions earlier asked by the High Court and directed the petitioner to file an affidavit.

Who financed Jomon’s legal battles was one of the major questions raised by the court.

In reply to another question, Jomon listed advocates who had helped him to argue in Sister Abhaya murder case. The list of advocates range from Suresh Kurup, ex-MP, to former High Court judge V Kanakaraj, who had charged him Rs 50,000 per appearance.

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Justice Cyriac Joseph may have to explain his involvement in the murder of Sister Abhaya
Posted by: Should an Indian Supreme court justice impartial ()
Date: July 28, 2010 10:04PM

Abhaya case is not over yet, it is just getting started

Why his name came up now in the labs visitors book. Why he did not enter his name in visitors book when he visited the lab. Who else came with hime to visit the lab, including his driver and assistants, who were they?

Cyriac Joseph is neighbour to the place where crime happened.

Cyriac Joseph, B.Sc. B.L. Born at Kaipuzha in Kottayam District of Kerala State on January 28, 1947. Studied in St. Margarette’s U.P. School, Kaipuzha; St. George’s High School, Kaipuzha; St. Thomas College, Palai; St. Berchmans’ College, Changanacherry and Law College, Trivandrum.

Enrolled as an Advocate on October 12, 1968. Practised in the District Court at Kottayam and in the Kerala High Court at Ernakulam. Worked as High Court Government Pleader from 1976 to 1979 and as Liaison Officer and Senior Government Pleader in the High Court from 1979 to 1987. Served as Additional Advocate General, State of Kerala, from July 6, 1991 to July 5, 1994. Appointed as a permanent Judge of the Kerala High Court w.e.f. July 6, 1994. On transfer to the Delhi High Court, assumed office as Judge of the Delhi High Court on August 5, 1994. Transferred back to the Kerala High Court w.e.f. September 24, 2001. Appointed as Chief Justice of the High Court of Uttaranchal (now Uttarakhand) w.e.f. March 20, 2005. On transfer to Karnataka High Court, assumed office as Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court on January 7, 2006. On appointment as Judge of the Supreme Court of India, assumed office as Judge, Supreme Court on July 7, 2008.

Married to Smt. Biby. Blessed with four children.

Justice Cyriac Joseph, who belongs to the same religious order as that of Sister Abhaya and the accused (Fr Thomas M Kottoor, Fr Jose Puthrukayil and Sister Sephy), should not have given room for such a report. The Constitution of India envisages an independent judiciary, which dispenses justice without fear or favour. Needless to say that the judiciary should not only be independent, impartial and unbiased but also should appear to be so without giving any room for suspicion. The conduct of the judge is a blemish on the judiciary, and it has pushed it into the penumbra of suspicion.’’

The Kerala High Court Advocates’ Association had also moved a resolution against the judge. However, it was dismissed as majority of the advocates opposed it, saying it was not legally maintainable.

It was the former FSL assistant director, Dr S Malini, who told the CBI that the judge had visited the laboratory on May 23 last year. It was a private visit. Besides viewing the video tapes of the narco analysis tests conducted on the three accused, he also viewed the test done on an accused in a terror case. The judge also lauded the work done by the lab. His visit was entered in the visitors’ book. But when and by whom?

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Re: Justice Cyriac Joseph may have to explain his involvement in the murder of Sister Abhaya
Posted by: Let us do the narco analysis again. ()
Date: August 26, 2010 12:41PM

Let us do the narco analysis again.

But CBI has no power over Supreme Court justice.

The controversial Sister Abhaya case got even more complex on Monday with the Central Bureau of Investigation telling the Kerala [ Images ] High Court that a Supreme Court judge was present during the narco analysis test of an accused in the case.
The CBI told the court that it was investigating the presence of SC judge, Cyriac Joseph, during the narco test of the accused in the case.

The CBI stated that Justice Joseph witnessed the procedure at the Bowring Hospital in Bengaluru [ Images ] two years back when he was the Chief Justice of the Karnataka [ Images ] High Court. The officials said that this was a clear violation of procedure.

Following the controversy surrounding the narco analysis CD, a team of the CBI had visited Bengaluru to ascertain whether the CD had been tampered with or not. They also took the statements of senior officials and experts who were present at the hospital during the test on the accused Father Jose Putrakoil and Father Thomas Kutoor.

Justice Joseph was the registrar general of the Kerala High Court before being elevated as judge of the High Court. He was later transferred to the Karnataka High Court as Chief Justice before being elevated as the Judge of the Supreme Court.

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Re: Justice Cyriac Joseph may have to explain his involvement in the murder of Sister Abhaya
Posted by: Fr. Thomas M. Kottoor's Philosophy ()
Date: August 26, 2010 12:49PM

Dr.Thomas M.Kottoor

This is my Home page...Thank you for visiting. I appreciate that.

God has given me lots of graces. For all that has been THANKS. For all that will be..YES.

I am basically people oriented and enjoy friendships,fun,crowd etc. I always wanted to become a psychologist. Yes ,I am that now. Would you like to know about the "crazy" things,I have done....

A Doctorate in Moral Theology from Rome.

Masters Degree in Psychology from St.John's University,New York.

M.Phil Degree in Rehabilitation Psychology from M.G.University,India.

Senior Lecturer in Psychology at B.C.M.College,Kottayam, India (l985-l997)

Now I am on leave from the College teaching and live in New York

I have published five books in Malayalam and one in English. Several Articles in English and Malayalam are there to my credit.


Psychology of G.W.Allport and its Theological Relevance-1983

Samthrupta Jeevitham (Psychology)1983

Yuvajanangalkkoru Manashastra Guide-1992 (Psychology-self help) This Book won a Best Youth Book Award.

Samrudhamaya Jeevan-l997(Theology)

Manasastram Jeevithavijayathinu-1997(Psychology-self help) This Book was a Best Seller.

Nilavilninnu Ethiyvar-1997(short stories)

Our KOTTOOR family history - Kudumba Vallari - was edited and published by me.


The Attitude and Adjustment of the Cartakers of the Aged(l994) M.Phil Degree Dissertation, (unpublished)School of Behavioural Sciences, M.G.University,Kottayam.

Disruption of attention and PK-Task Performance(1988) in The Creative Psychologist:1,1,16-19.

Education of Disabled Children(1989)in New Frontiers in Education XIX,1,16-19.

Recognition of Faces by Adults(l989) in Psychological Studies,34,2,103-106.

Female Infanticide-A Psychological Analysis(1990)Vikasini,3,8,20-23.

Gandhi and the Resolution of Intra-personal Conflicts(1990) in Gandhi Marg,12,1.

"Ask the Psychologist" column in different magazines.

I also have presentations and speeches in Psychology and Theology Meetings.

I always wanted to make a link between psychological health and spirituality. Be human,be holy. The holiness of a person should be founded on humanness. To love and being loved is the key to psychological health.

I was the founding Director of the Caritas Psychological Services in Kottayam,Kerala.

Everybody should live this life FULLY. I consider this as my mission to make people aware of that.

I enjoy reading,travelling,watching movies, keeping in touch with friends etc. Journalism and Criminology are my favourite subjects after psychology.

As a priest,I am the happiest,as a teacher I am at my best.

We have to enjoy the life God has given us with out clinging to it. Do your Karma..

Smile a lot, do not judge anybody, appreciate the goodness in each person.

With our presence in this world, let us make it a better place. Good Luck...

...that they may have LIFE and have it to the Full.

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Re: Justice Cyriac Joseph may have to explain his involvement in the murder of Sister Abhaya
Posted by: Fr. Thomas Mathew Kottoor ()
Date: August 26, 2010 01:04PM

ALEY daughter of Chacko was born in Cherpunkal Mutholath family. She married Thomman from Kottoor familu in Kidangoor

Thamman died on December 29, 1959 and was buried on the next day at Kidangoor St. Mary's Church cemetery. Aley died on February 23, 1998 at Kidangoor and was buried on the next day at Kidangoor St. Mary's Church


i. K.T. MATHEW Kottoor

ii. FR. JOSEPH Kottoor

iii. SR. THOMASINE, Patna


v. ALEYAMMA Thomas Vallippadavil

K.T. MATHEW son of Thomman Kottoor and Aley Chacko Mutholath was born in Kottoor family at Kidangoor. He passed B.A. degree from St. Xaviour's College Palayamkot on July 29, 1922. He was headmaster of schools, principal of Teachers' Traininig College, Ettumanoor, Assistant Educational Officer, President of Kidangoor Cooperative Bank, and member of Pastoral Council of the Diocese of Kottayam.

He married Aleykutty daughter of Kurivilla and Aley in Chettiath family at Koodalloor. She was a school teacher in Kidangoor and president of Knanaya Catholic Women's Association of the Diocese of Kottayam.


i. FR. THOMAS M KOTTOOR on the far left

Thomasukutty, the eldest son of Mathew Kottoor and Aleykkutty Chettiath was born on March 03, 1949. He became a priest in the Diocese of Kottayam. His ordination was on March 18, 1972 in Rome. He served as secretary to the Bishop of Kottayam and Chancellor of the Diocese of Kottayam. He is professor at B.C.M. College Kottayam. He is a well know writer of many books and has published articles and stories in periodicals.

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Re: Justice Cyriac Joseph may have to explain his involvement in the murder of Sister Abhaya
Posted by: Fr. Thomas M Kottor and his legacy ()
Date: August 26, 2010 01:14PM

As of 28-OCT-2005, Fr. Thomas Kottor was involved in the following:

Diocesan House: Meet Fr Thomas Kottoor, Chancellor and submit official information about Fr Thomas talks about the Kottayam diocese. He also suggests enhancing the website by having full-time personnel and also making the Matrimonial Section fee-based. Receive a directory of Kottayam Archdiocese from Fr Thomas.

Cathedral Church: Christ the King (Christuraja) Cathedral, large and beautiful. Fr Thomas Kottoor himself is the Cathedral Vicar.

Until 2007 he taught at BCM college, the same plac Sister Abhaya was a student

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Role of Mafia in India
Posted by: Italian Mafia ()
Date: February 17, 2011 10:03PM

Since their appearance in the 1800s, the Italian criminal societies known as the Mafia have infiltrated the social and economic fabric of Italy and now impact the world. They are some of the most notorious and widespread of all criminal societies.

There are several groups currently active in the U.S.: the Sicilian Mafia; the Camorra or Neapolitan Mafia; the ’Ndrangheta or Calabrian Mafia; and the Sacra Corona Unita or United Sacred Crown.

We estimate the four groups have approximately 25,000 members total, with 250,000 affiliates worldwide. There are more than 3,000 members and affiliates in the U.S., scattered mostly throughout the major cities in the Northeast, the Midwest, California, and the South. Their largest presence centers around New York, southern New Jersey, and Philadelphia.

Their criminal activities are international with members and affiliates in Canada, South America, Australia, and parts of Europe. They are also known to collaborate with other international organized crime groups from all over the world, especially in drug trafficking.

The major threats to American society posed by these groups are drug trafficking and money laundering. They have been involved in heroin trafficking for decades. Two major investigations that targeted Italian organized crime drug trafficking in the 1980s are known as the “French Connection” and the “Pizza Connection.”

These groups don’t limit themselves to drug running, though. They’re also involved in illegal gambling, political corruption, extortion, kidnapping, fraud, counterfeiting, infiltration of legitimate businesses, murders, bombings, and weapons trafficking. Industry experts in Italy estimate that their worldwide criminal activity is worth more than $100 billion annually.
A Long History

These enterprises evolved over the course of 3,000 years during numerous periods of invasion and exploitation by numerous conquering armies in Italy. Over the millennia, Sicilians became more clannish and began to rely on familial ties for safety, protection, justice, and survival.

An underground secret society formed initially as resistance fighters against the invaders and to exact frontier vigilante justice against oppression. A member was known as a “Man Of Honor,” respected and admired because he protected his family and friends and kept silent even unto death.

Sicilians weren’t concerned if the group profited from its actions because it came at the expense of the oppressive authorities. These secret societies eventually grew into the Mafia.

Since the 1900s, thousands of Italian organized crime figures—mostly Sicilian Mafiosi—have come illegally to this country. Many who fled here in the early 1920s helped establish what is known today as La Cosa Nostra or the American Mafia.

Charles “Lucky” Luciano, a Mafioso from Sicily, came to the U.S. during this era and is credited for making the American La Cosa Nostra what it is today. Luciano structured the La Cosa Nostra after the Sicilian Mafia. When Luciano was deported back to Italy in 1946 for operating a prostitution ring, he became a liaison between the Sicilian Mafia and La Cosa Nostra.
Sicilian Mafia (based in Sicily)

The Sicilian Mafia formed in the mid-1800s to unify the Sicilian peasants against their enemies. In Sicily, the word Mafia tends to mean “manly.” The Sicilian Mafia changed from a group of honorable Sicilian men to an organized criminal group in the 1920s.

In the 1950s, Sicily enjoyed a massive building boom. Taking advantage of the opportunity, the Sicilian Mafia gained control of the building contracts and made millions of dollars. Today, the Sicilian Mafia has evolved into an international organized crime group. Some experts estimate it is the second largest organization in Italy.

The Sicilian Mafia specializes in heroin trafficking, political corruption, and military arms trafficking—and is also known to engage in arson, frauds, counterfeiting, and other racketeering crimes. With an estimated 2,500 Sicilian Mafia affiliates it is the most powerful and most active Italian organized crime group in the U.S.

The Sicilian Mafia is infamous for its aggressive assaults on Italian law enforcement officials. In Sicily the term “Excellent Cadaver” is used to distinguish the assassination of prominent government officials from the common criminals and ordinary citizens killed by the Mafia. High-ranking victims include police commissioners, mayors, judges, police colonels and generals, and Parliament members.

On May 23, 1992, the Sicilian Mafia struck Italian law enforcement with a vengeance. At approximately 6 p.m., Italian Magistrate Giovanni Falcone, his wife, and three police body guards were killed by a massive bomb. Falcone was the director of Criminal Affairs in Rome. The bomb made a crater 30 feet in diameter in the road. The murders became known as the Capaci Massacre.

Less than two months later, on July 19, the Mafia struck Falcone’s newly named replacement, Judge Paolo Borsellino in Palermo, Sicily. Borsellino and five bodyguards were killed outside the apartment of Borsellino’s mother when a car packed with explosives was detonated by remote control.

Under Judge Falcone’s tenure the FBI and Italian law enforcement established a close working relationship aimed at dismantling Italian organized crime groups operating in both countries. That relationship has intensified since then.
Camorra or Neapolitan Mafia (based in Naples)

The word “Camorra” means gang. The Camorra first appeared in the mid-1800s in Naples, Italy, as a prison gang. Once released, members formed clans in the cities and continued to grow in power. The Camorra has more than 100 clans and approximately 7,000 members, making it the largest of the Italian organized crime groups.

In the 1970s, the Sicilian Mafia convinced the Camorra to convert their cigarette smuggling routes into drug smuggling routes with the Sicilian Mafia's assistance. Not all Camorra leaders agreed, leading to the Camorra Wars that cost 400 lives. Opponents of drug trafficking lost the war.

The Camorra made a fortune in reconstruction after an earthquake ravaged the Campania region in 1980. Now it specializes in cigarette smuggling and receives payoffs from other criminal groups for any cigarette traffic through Italy. The Camorra is also involved in money laundering, extortion, alien smuggling, robbery, blackmail, kidnapping, political corruption, and counterfeiting.

It is believed that nearly 200 Camorra affiliates reside in this country, many of whom arrived during the Camorra Wars.
’Ndrangheta or Calabrian Mafia (based in Calabria)

The word “’Ndrangheta” comes from the Greek meaning courage or loyalty. The ’Ndrangheta formed in the 1860s when a group of Sicilians was banished from the island by the Italian government. They settled in Calabria and formed small criminal groups.

There are about 160 ’Ndrangheta cells with roughly 6,000 members. They specialize in kidnapping and political corruption, but also engage in drug trafficking, murder, bombings, counterfeiting, gambling, frauds, thefts, labor racketeering, loansharking, and alien smuggling.

Cells are loosely connected family groups based on blood relationships and marriages. In the U.S., there are an estimated 100-200 members and associates, primarily in New York and Florida.
Sacra Corona Unita or United Sacred Crown (based in the Puglia region)

Law enforcement became aware of the Sacra Corona Unita in the late 1980s. Like other groups, it started as a prison gang. As its members were released, they settled in the Puglia region in Italy and continued to grow and form links with other Mafia groups. The Sacra Corona Unita is headquartered in Brindisi, located in the southeastern region of Puglia.

The Sacra Corona Unita consists of about 50 clans with approximately 2,000 members and specializes in smuggling cigarettes, drugs, arms, and people. It is also involved in money laundering, extortion, and political corruption. The organization collects payoffs from other criminal groups for landing rights on the southeast coast of Italy, a natural gateway for smuggling to and from post-Communist countries like Croatia, Yugoslavia, and Albania.

Very few Sacra Corona Unita members have been identified in the U.S., although some individuals in Illinois, Florida, and New York have links to the organization.


La Cosa Nostra

La Cosa Nostra is the foremost organized criminal threat to American society. Literally translated into English it means “this thing of ours.” It is a nationwide alliance of criminals—linked by blood ties or through conspiracy—dedicated to pursuing crime and protecting its members.

La Cosa Nostra, or the LCN as it is known by the FBI, consists of different “families” or groups that are generally arranged geographically and engaged in significant and organized racketeering activity. It is also known as the Mafia, a term used to describe other organized crime groups.

The LCN is most active in the New York metropolitan area, parts of New Jersey, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, and New England. It has members in other major cities and is involved in international crimes.
History of La Cosa Nostra

Although La Cosa Nostra has its roots in Italian organized crime, it has been a separate organization for many years. Today, La Cosa Nostra cooperates in various criminal activities with different criminal groups that are headquartered in Italy.

Giuseppe Esposito was the first known Sicilian Mafia member to emigrate to the U.S. He and six other Sicilians fled to New York after murdering the chancellor and a vice chancellor of a Sicilian province and 11 wealthy landowners. He was arrested in New Orleans in 1881 and extradited to Italy.

New Orleans was also the site of the first major Mafia incident in this country. On October 15, 1890, New Orleans Police Superintendent David Hennessey was murdered execution-style. Hundreds of Sicilians were arrested, and 19 were eventually indicted for the murder. An acquittal generated rumors of widespread bribery and intimidated witnesses. Outraged citizens of New Orleans organized a lynch mob and killed 11 of the 19 defendants. Two were hanged, nine were shot, and the remaining eight escaped.

The American Mafia has evolved over the years as various gangs assumed—and lost—dominance over the years: the Black Hand gangs around 1900; the Five Points Gang in the 1910s and ‘20s in New York City; Al Capone’s Syndicate in Chicago in the 1920s. By the end of the ‘20s, two primary factions had emerged, leading to a war for control of organized crime in New York City.

The murder of faction leader Joseph Masseria brought an end to the gang warfare, and the two groups united to form the organization now dubbed La Cosa Nostra. It was not a peaceful beginning: Salvatore Maranzano, the first leader of La Cosa Nostra, was murdered within six months.

Charles “Lucky” Luciano became the new leader. Maranzano had established the La Cosa Nostra code of conduct, set up the “family” divisions and structure, and established procedures for resolving disputes. Luciano set up the “Commission” to rule all La Cosa Nostra activities. The Commission included bosses from six or seven families.

Luciano was deported back to Italy in 1946 based on his conviction for operating a prostitution ring. There, he became a liaison between the Sicilian Mafia and La Cosa Nostra.
Other Historical Highlights:
1951: A U.S. Senate committee led by Democrat Estes Kefauver of Tennessee determined that a “sinister criminal organization” known as the Mafia operated in this nation.
1957: The New York State Police uncovered a meeting of major LCN figures from around the country in the small upstate New York town of Apalachin. Many of the attendees were arrested. The event was the catalyst that changed the way law enforcement battles organized crime.

1963: Joseph Valachi became the first La Cosa Nostra member to provide a detailed looked inside the organization. Recruited by FBI agents, Valachi revealed to a U.S. Senate committee numerous secrets of the organization, including its name, structure, power bases, codes, swearing-in ceremony, and members of the organization.

Today, La Cosa Nostra is involved in a broad spectrum of illegal activities: murder, extortion, drug trafficking, corruption of public officials, gambling, infiltration of legitimate businesses, labor racketeering, loan sharking, prostitution, pornography, tax-fraud schemes, and stock manipulation schemes.
The Genovese Crime Family

Named after legendary boss Vito Genovese, the Genovese crime family was once considered the most powerful organized crime family in the nation. Members and their numerous associates engaged in drug trafficking, murder, assault, gambling, extortion, loansharking, labor racketeering, money laundering, arson, gasoline bootlegging, and infiltration of legitimate businesses.

Genovese family members are also involved in stock market manipulation and other illegal frauds and schemes as evidenced by the recent FBI investigation code named “Mobstocks.”

The Genovese crime family has its roots in the Italian criminal groups in New York controlled by Joseph Masseria in the 1920s. The family history is rife with murder, violence, and greed.
Early History—Masseria and Maranzano

Masseria sparked the so-called “Castellammarese War” in 1928 when he tried to gain control of organized crime across the country. The war ended in 1931 when Salvatore Maranzano conspired with Masseria’s top soldier, Charles “Lucky” Luciano, to have Masseria killed. Maranzano emerged as the most powerful Mafia boss in the nation, setting up five separate criminal groups in New York and calling himself “Boss of Bosses.”

Two of the most powerful La Cosa Nostra families—known today as the Genovese and Gambino families—emerged from Maranzano’s restructuring efforts. Maranzano named Luciano the first boss of what would later be known as the Genovese family. Luciano showed his appreciation less than five months later by sending five men dressed as police officers to Maranzano’s office to murder him.
Luciano, Costello, and Genovese

With Maranzano out of the way, Luciano become the most powerful Mafia boss in America and used his position to run La Cosa Nostra like a major corporation. He set up the LCN Commission, or ruling body, composed of seven bosses, and divided the different rackets among the families.

In 1936, Luciano was sentenced to 30 to 50 years in prison. Ten years later, he was released from prison and deported to Italy, never to return. When he was convicted, Frank Costello became acting boss because Genovese—then just an underboss—had fled to Italy to avoid a murder charge. His return to the states was cleared when a key witness against him was poisoned and the charges were dropped.

Costello led the family for approximately 20 years until May of 1957 when Genovese took control by sending soldier Vincent “the Chin” Gigante to murder him. Costello survived the attack but relinquished control of the family to Genovese. Attempted murder charges against Gigante were dismissed when Costello refused to identify him as the shooter.

In 1959, it was Genovese’s turn to go to prison following a conviction of conspiracy to violate narcotics laws. He received a 15-year sentence but continued to run the family through his underlings from his prison cell in Atlanta, Georgia.
Valachi Sings—and Lombardo Leads

About this time, Joseph Valachi, a “made man,” was sent to the same prison as Genovese on a narcotics conviction. Labeled an informer, Valachi survived three attempts on his life behind bars. Still in prison in 1962, he killed a man he thought Genovese had sent to kill him. He was sentenced to life for the murder.

The sentencing was a turning point for Valachi, who decided to cooperate with the U.S. government. On September 27, 1963, he appeared before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and testified that he was a member of a secret criminal society in the U.S. known as La Cosa Nostra.

In 1969, several years after Valachi began cooperating with the FBI, Vito Genovese died in his prison cell. By then the Genovese family was under the control of Philip “Benny Squint” Lombardo. Unlike the bosses before him, Lombardo preferred to rule behind his underboss. His first, Thomas Eboli, was murdered in 1972. Lombardo promoted Frank “Funzi” Tieri, and later Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno as his front men.

Throughout the 1980s, the Genovese family hierarchy went through several changes. Tieri, recognized on the street as the Genovese family boss in the late 1970s, was convicted for operating a criminal organization through a pattern of racketeering that included murder and extortion.

Salerno then fronted as boss until he had stroke in 1981. In 1985, Salerno and the bosses of the other four New York families were convicted for operating a criminal enterprise—the LCN Commission. Lombardo, his two captains in prison and his health failing, turned full control of the Genovese family over to Gigante—the man who tried to kill Costello 30 years earlier.
Fish on the Hook

In 1986, a second member turned against the Genovese family when Vincent “Fish” Cafaro, a soldier and right-hand-man to Anthony Salerno, decided to cooperate with the FBI and testify. According to Cafaro’s sworn statement, Gigante ran the family from behind the scenes while pretending to be mentally ill. Cafaro said this behavior helped further insulate Gigante from authorities while he ran the Genovese family’s criminal activities.

Gigante’s odd behavior and mumbling while he walked around New York’s East Village in a bathrobe earned him the nickname “the Odd Father.” After an FBI investigation, Gigante was convicted of racketeering and murder conspiracy in December 1997 and sentenced to 12 years. Another FBI investigation led to his indictment on January 17, 2002, accusing him of continuing to run the Genovese family from prison. He pled guilty to obstruction of justice in 2003.

Gigante died in prison in December 2005 in the same federal hospital where Gambino family leader John Gotti had died in 2002.


The Italian American Working Group

Over the years, FBI investigations have revealed how organized criminal groups have proliferated and impacted much of the world. Partnerships with foreign law enforcement agencies are essential to combat global organized crime groups.

Among the partnerships the FBI is involved with is the Italian American Working Group, which meets every year. The group addresses organized crime, cyber crime, money laundering, international terrorism, illegal immigration, cooperating witnesses, drug smuggling, art theft, extradition matters, and cigarette smuggling. The U.S. and Italy take turns hosting the meetings.


Labor Racketeering

Labor racketeering is the domination, manipulation, and control of a labor movement in order to affect related businesses and industries. It can lead to the denial of workers’ rights and inflicts an economic loss on the workers, business, industry, insurer, or consumer.
The historical involvement of La Cosa Nostra in labor racketeering has been thoroughly documented:

■More than one-third of the 58 members arrested in 1957 at the Apalachin conference in New York listed their employment as “labor” or “labor-management relations.”
■Three major U.S. Senate investigations have documented La Cosa Nostra’s involvement in labor racketeering. One of these, the McClellan Committee, in the late-1950s, found systemic racketeering in both the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union.
■In 1986, the President’s Council on Organized Crime reported that five major unions—including the Teamsters and the Laborers International Union of North America—were dominated by organized crime.
■In the early 1980s, former Gambino Family Boss Paul Castellano was overheard saying, “Our job is to run the unions.”
Labor racketeering has become one of La Cosa Nostra’s fundamental sources of profit, national power, and influence.

FBI investigations over the years have clearly demonstrated that labor racketeering costs the American public millions of dollars each year through increased labor costs that are eventually passed on to consumers.

Labor unions provide a rich source for organized criminal groups to exploit: their pension, welfare, and health funds. There are approximately 75,000 union locals in the U.S., and many of them maintain their own benefit funds. In the mid-1980s, the Teamsters controlled more than 1,000 funds with total assets of more than $9 billion.

Labor racketeers attempt to control health, welfare, and pension plans by offering “sweetheart” contracts, peaceful labor relations, and relaxed work rules to companies, or by rigging union elections.

Labor law violations occur primarily in large cities with both a strong industrial base and strong labor unions, like New York, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and Philadelphia. These cities also have a large presence of organized crime figures.

We have several investigative techniques to root out labor law violations: electronic surveillance, undercover operations, confidential sources, and victim interviews. We also have numerous criminal and civil statutes to use at our disposal, primarily through the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Statute.

The civil provisions of the RICO statute have proven to be very powerful weapons, especially the consent decrees. They are often more productive because they attack the entire corrupt entity instead of imprisoning individuals, who can easily be replaced with other organized crime members or associates.

Consent decrees are most effective when there is long-term, systemic corruption at virtually every level of a labor union by criminal organizations. A civil RICO complaint and subsequent consent decree can restore democracy to a corrupt union by imposing civil remedies designed to eliminate such corruption and deter its re-emergence.

The Teamsters are the best example of how efficiently the civil RICO process can be used. For decades, the Teamsters has been substantially controlled by La Cosa Nostra. In recent years, four of eight Teamster presidents were indicted, yet the union continued to be controlled by organized crime elements. The government has been fairly successful at removing the extensive criminal influence from this 1.4 million-member union by using the civil process.

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K M Mani and CBI spelling mistake - Sr. Abhaya Murder case
Posted by: administrator ()
Date: November 12, 2015 01:15PM

CBI misspelled the culprits name wrongly. Sr. Lucy became Sr. Lousy.

Case closes.

In the meantime, a professor of the BCM College of English: Prof. Thresiamma is in hot water. Prof. Thresiamma, who was a colleague of Thomas Kottur (spelled Kottoor in another publication) and Jose Puthurukkayil in the same BCM college.

Prof. Jose Puthurukkayil was in the same department of Prof. Thresiamma.

Prof. Thresiamma said to the media she had gone to visit the dead body of Sr. Abhaya in the convent. Thresiamma said. Abhaya's dead body was covered with a cloth inside the convent. Professor Jose Puthurukkayil showed up his face in the meantime, removed the cloth and showed the dead body to Prof. Thresiamma.

People including her own brother are threatening her .

A team of uniformed police from the police station was sent to threaten her as well. Who send these policeman in uniform came to her house is unknown

The Professor, Thresiamma complained to the CBI, Kochi about the police group visit to her home. Police never showed up again.

According to Prof. Thressiamma, there was one sister Lucy who had taught in BCM college during that period. It is not clear if the CBI has wrongly put her name as Sister Lousy. CBI officials declined to comment on the affidavit as it’s sub-judice. The CBI approached the court six times seeking permission to wind up investigation. Later CBI filed an affidavit in the court stating that Sister Abhaya was murdered in the convent but, it could not proceed against the culprits as vital evidence had been destroyed. The CBI court objected the report and directed the investigation agency to file detailed investigation using scientific methods.

Allegations regarding community leaders trying to sabotage the case
There was speculation that an influential Christian political leader K. M. Mani from Central Kerala tried to sabotage the case by influencing the then Congress government in the centre.

Other allegations included the Catholic Church Council trying to influence the outcome of the investigations. Others also alleged that due to the constant pressure that the action council and their convener and his secret financial backers that a lot of real good leads were never followed up on or investigated.

In a shocking revelation, Central Bureau of Investigation, has stated in the designated magistrate court in Thiruvananthapuram court that the former catholic archbishop of Kottayam Kuriakose Kunnassery had a intimate relationship with a professor nun. The investigating agency was quoting a witness in the Sister Abhaya murder case. Local television channels and Malayalam newspapers flashed the news, getting a swift reaction from the church. Church officials have termed the statement is baseless and is a deliberate move to malign the church and its senior leader.

The CBI in its affidavit dated 23 July filed against the accused priests and a nun in the controversial Sister Abhaya murder case revealed in the court that Professor Thressiamma, who is a witness in the murder case had disclosed that former Archbishop Kuriakose Kunnassery of Kottayam archdiocese had had a sexual relationship with a Sister Lousy, an inmate of Pius Tenth Convent, Kottayam where Sister Abhaya was found dead on 27 March 1992. The affidavit alleges the accused priests and nun facilitated the meeting between the archbishop and the nun in the convent.

According to the affidavit filed by CBI, Professor Thressiamma who was teaching at Church-run BCM college, has given a statement to the investigation agency about the illicit relationship. The now 84-year-old Archbishop retired in January 2006. The CBI has been investigating the case since 1993, taking over from the Kerala Police crime branch which had concluded that 19-year-old Sister Abhaya had committed suicide. Initially, the CBI had also submitted a closure report in the court designated by the CBI, endorsing the investigation done by crime branch. However, the court had returned the closure report demanding a detailed probe into Sister Abhaya’s death and started monitoring the investigation in the case.

Sixteen years later, the CBI arrested Father Jose Puthrukkayil, Father Thomas Kottoor and Sister Sephy on 19 November 2009, they were chargesheeted by the court. The accused filed discharge petitions before the designated CBI court in Thiruvananthapuram pleading that the CBI had not found any evidences against them. While hearing the discharge petition filed by the accused, the investigation agency objected to the plea and filed its own affidavit listing the involvement of the accused in Sister Abhaya murder case. The affidavit contains allegations against the former Archbishop and the nun.

Church officials have objected to the allegations made by the CBI in the court. Father Abraham Parambettu, official spokesperson of Kottayam Archdiocese told TEHELKA that the church will file a defamation case against the CBI for making “baseless and wild allegations against a respected senior church leader”. “We are pained and shocked. It’s a deliberate move to malign the Church and the church leader,” Father Parambettu said.

According to him, “The CBI was trying to defame the church leaders, after failing to produce clinching evidences against the accused. The CBI has been probing the case for 19 years and is now making wild allegations against not only the accused but also Church leaders. We have cooperated with the investigation. Their statement is false and defamatory. The identity of the nun is stated as ‘Sister Lousy’. No nun in that name taught in BCM college or the convent when Sister Abhaya found dead.”

Investigations by TEHELKA reveal that Sister Lousy never worked in BCM college or stayed in convent. There was one sister Lucy who had taught in BCM college during that period. It is not clear if the CBI has wrongly put her name as Sister Lousy. CBI officials declined to comment on the affidavit as it’s sub-judice. The CBI approached the court six times seeking permission to wind up investigation. Later CBI filed an affidavit in the court stating that Sister Abhaya was murdered in the convent but, it could not proceed against the culprits as vital evidence had been destroyed. The CBI court objected the report and directed the investigation agency to file detailed investigation using scientific methods.

While objecting the discharge petition, CBI stated that the agency got scientific proof against the accused. The accused — Father Thomas Kottoor, Father Jose Puthrukkayil and Sister Sephy — filed a discharge petition before the designated court seeking intervention of the court to stop CBI from framing false charges against them.

According to affidavit filed by CBI senior prosecutor VN Anilkumar, “Sister Abhaya had found both priests and nun engaging in a sexual relationship in the nun’s room in the convent”. The CBI conducted narco tests on the accused, the Supreme Court later declared narco tests as illegal and not part of evidences admissible in the court in criminal cases. The affidavit states that “the forensic doctors who conducted medical examinations of the accused Sister Sephy stated that the nun had had frequent sexual exposures in the past and tests found that she had undergone hymen replacement surgery after the murder took place. The CBI had enclosed statements made by Dr Rema and Dr Lalithambika Karunakaran, forensic surgeons at the Alappuzha Medical College in the annexure list.

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Re: K M Mani and Kottayam Archbishop Mar Kuriakose Kunnaserry - Sr. Abhaya Murder case
Posted by: administrator ()
Date: November 12, 2015 05:18PM

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) revelation about the alleged illicit relation of former Kottayam Archbishop Mar Kuriakose Kunnaserry with a nun has evoked protests from the Knanya Catholic Church in Kerala.

The premier investigating agency made the allegation in its reply to discharge petitions filed by two priests and a nun, who have been chargesheeted in the sensational Sister Abhaya murder case, at the CBI court in the state capital.

Terming the charge false and fabricated, the Archeparchy of Kottayam said they will file a defamation case against the investigating agency.

Sabu Kurian, a spokesperson of the Archdiocese, said that the CBI charge was based on a baseless allegation made by former BCM college professor, Thresiamma.

He told the Khaleej Times that Thresiamma had been trying to tarnish the image of the Church ever since she lost a case related to her promotion in the church-run college. He said that the CBI was trying to drag the name of the bishop into the case after the accused challenged its findings.

Thresiamma had alleged that the Archbishop had an affair with a nun named Lucy, a fellow teacher at the BCM College, when she lived at Pius X Convent, where Sister Abhaya was found dead in 1992. She said that the college principal who resented the bishop’s ways was forced to take voluntary retirement.

According to the CBI affidavit, Father Thomas Kottoor and Father Thomas Puthrukkayil, who have already been arrested by the agency in connection with the murder of Sister Abhaya, had also close relations with the sister.

It said the two priests had helped the Archbishop to meet Sister Lucy, who was sharing the stellar room with Sister Sephy, the third accused in the case.

The two priests have been accused of murdering Sister Abhaya after she noticed their illicit relationship with Sister Sephy. Aleppey Medical College forensic surgeons Dr Rama and Dr Lalithambika Karunakaran, who conducted a virginity test on the nun, confirmed that Sephy had continuously engaged in sexual intercourse and she had a transplanted hymen.

The stellar room, where Sephy and Lucy lived, had no access to outsiders after 10.30 in the night.

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Nazarani Christians In India - How it spread
Posted by: administrator ()
Date: October 16, 2021 02:03AM

In India 'Nazarani' means one who came from Nazareth or foreign Christians. St Thomas the apostle reached Kerala, India in AD 52. The apostle came to Kerala to contact the thousands of Jews living on the Kerala coast. On his way to Madura to meet the King who was administering Cranganore (on Kerala coast near to Cochin) he was killed.

1st Century-Armenians, Syrians followed the apostle to Kerala and established a loose system of Nazaranism (Christianity) in Kerala based on Judaic values. Many locals got converted in early first century and they called themselves Thoma Nazaranis

2nd and 3rd Century- More Egyptians and Persians started visiting Kerala due to the increased importance and development of Eastern church in the middle east

By end of 3 rd century and organized eastern Christian presence in Kerala coast was established by the Persian missionaries of the East Syriac Rite tradition, members of what later became the Church of the East, established themselves in modern-day Kerala The Nazarani Church employs an localized variant of the Liturgy of Saints Addai and Mari belonging to the historic Church of the East, which dates back to 3rd century Edessa, Upper Mesopotamia. As such it is a part of Syriac Christianity by liturgy and heritage

4th and 5th Century= The Church of the East shared communion with the Great Church (Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy) until the Council of Ephesus in the 5th century, separating primarily over differences in Christology and due to political reasons. Accordingly Nazarani Church indirectly kept communion with Pope through eastern church. However due to the developments in Europe the small sect of Nazarani Christians were unknown to Pope.

Due to the political differences between east and west and due to the development of Islamic religion, during 6 the century there were not much developments to Nazarani Church in Kerala.

7th and 8th Century- PATRIARCH TIMOTHY I

In 762 A.D. Baghdad was founded as the capital of the Abbassid dynasty, and hence the Patriarch of the Church of the East moved his see from Seleucia-Ctesiphon to the capital in order to have easy access to the court of the caliphs. This early Abbassid period was a time of relative security and stability for the ancient Christian communities in Mesopotamia and Persia before the tide turned against them.

In 782 Patriarch Timothy I conducted his famous debate with Caliph al-Mahdi with whom he also struck a close friendship. They were intellectual equals, and the caliph even asked the patriarch to translate a work of Aristotle from Greek into Arabic, having already translated it into Syriac. Since the Christians were better educated than the Arab Muslims, many were allowed to serve in various capacities as doctors, teachers, engineers, administrators and translators (giving rise to the movement of Arabic philosophy).

Patriarch Timothy I had a chance to inform the Caliph about the Eastern Church provinces in India and the chance of annexing vast lands to Abbassid dynasty and the prospect of trade was of big interest for rulers of Baghdad.

Since the debate PATRIARCH TIMOTHY was given some sort of authority in Asia minor and he organized Province of India of the Church of the East in the eighth century on Kerala Coast, served by bishops and a local dynastic archdeacon under Patriarch Timothy I (780–823 AD)

The Crusades

Crusades happened and Pope was bent on reclaiming Jerusalem from Muslim rulers. However the crusades in turn helped Muslims to advance further into Europe after the fourth Crusade

Constantinople and Fourth Crusade 1261

Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman/Byzantine Empire (330–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261)

Ever since the Constantinople was destroyed in the fourth crusade, the decline of the Eastern Church began in Middle East and in Asia

Vasco da Gama reaches India.

Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama becomes the first European to reach India via the Atlantic Ocean when he arrives at Calicut on the Malabar Coast. Da Gama sailed from Lisbon, Portugal, in July 1497, and reached on Kerala coat on May 20, 1498.

In India during the 14th century, the Church of the East declined due to persecution by Tamerlane and in middle east in the mean time the Church of the East collapsed due to internal struggles.

So when Europeans reached Kerala in 1498, the Church of the East in India was in a bad shape without any support from Middle East Christian strong holds. Whole Middle East was fast becoming Islamic states and there was no one paying much attention to India..

After the schism of 1552, Pope showed a renewed interest in brining Eastern Church back to Latin Church. Accordingly a faction of the Church of the East ,Chaldean Catholic Church, came in communion with the Holy See of Rome and in the mean time the Church of the East collapsed due to internal struggles. Throughout the later half of the 16th century, the Malabar Church was under Chaldean Catholic jurisdiction. Mar Abraham of Angamaly was among the last of Chaldean bishops. He was the Metropolitan of Angamaly (1568-1597) and given the title of "Metropolitan and Gate of all India".

Pope kept Archdiocese of Angamaly as a separate entity in communion with Holy See in Rome.

15 th and 16 the Century

Pope, Spain and Portugal

However Pope found a new ally in Portuguese in India and made them in charge of bringing old Nazarani Christians under Latin churhc. Portuguese colonial overtures to bring St Thomas Christians into the Latin Catholic Church, administered by their Padroado system in the 16th century, lead to the first of several rifts (schisms) in the community.

The attempts of the Portuguese culminated in the Synod of Diamper, formally subjugating them and their whole Archdiocese of Angamaly as a suffragan see to the Archdiocese of Goa, which was under the Portuguese Padroado and celebrated the Latin Rite of worship.

Through the Synod of Diamper of 1599, the Malabar Church was subjected directly under the authority of the Latin Catholic Padroado Archbishopric of Goa and the Jesuits. After a half-century administration under the Goa Archdiocese, dissidents held the Coonan Cross Oath in 1653 as a protest.

In response, Pope Alexander VII, with the help of Discalced Carmelite friars, by 1662, was able to reunite the majority of the dissidents with the Catholic Church.

The Syro-Malabar Church descends from this East Syriac Rite hierarchy (from the Arch diocese of Angamaly - Chaldean Catholic Church) that reunited with the Holy See.

During the 17th and 18th centuries the Archdiocese of Cranganore existed for the Syro-Malabarians, to give some autonomy for the local roots, The syro Malabar Church was known then as the Malankara Church (Malankare Sabha).But Archdiocese of Cranganore was later suppressed into the modern day Latin rite - Archdiocese of Verapoly.

Portuguese were driven out of Kerala to Goa by Dutch and English. However the distrust of Portuguese persisted among the Nazaranis, in Kerala churches.

Anglican church was not in communion with Pope. However Anglican church did not support protestants either.

At the early stage the British East India Company favoured the ed­ucational activities of the missionaries in various ways. Proselytizing and educational activities were started by the Company within its possessions.

In 1614 it recruited Indians to propagate Christianity among their country­men. Some educational measures were taken for these “native missionaries”. In 1654 “the Court of Directors” allowed missionaries to embark on their ships for the purpose of propagation of Christianity in India.

However as Britian started ruling India as British Raj, during 1800 British did not get involved in the Nazarani church politics nor did they convert locals into Christianity. However the chruch in Kerala flourished under British rule in India and Schools and colleges were established.

After over two centuries under the Latin Church's jurisdiction, in 1887, Pope Leo XIII fully separated the Syro-Malabarians from the Latin Church (the Archdiocese of Verapoly came to consist exclusively of Latin Rite Catholics).

Leo XIII established two Apostolic Vicariates for Syro-Malabarians, Thrissur and Changanassery (originally named Kottayam), and in 1896, the Vicariate of Ernakulam was erected as well, under the guidance of indigenous Syro-Malabar bishops.

In 1923, the Syro-Malabar hierarchy was organized and unified with Ernakulam as the Metropolitan See and Mar Augustine Kandathil as the first head and Archbishop of the Church.[34] The Syro-Malabar Church in effect became an autonomous sui iuris Eastern church within the Catholic communion.[35]

Although an Nazarani Eastern Church, members often incorrectly call themselves Roman Catholic (RC) or Roman Catholic Syrian Christian (RCSC) in the state of Kerala due to latinisation. It is one of the two Eastern Catholic churches in India, the other one being the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church which represents the faction of the Puthenkoor that returned to full communion with the Holy See of Rome in 1930.

Today the Syro-Malabar Church is the largest of the Thomas Christian denominations and the third largest sui juris Church in the Eastern Catholic Communion, with a population of 5 million worldwide.

Missionary Educational Activities of the Portuguese, Dutch, French, Danish, British East India Company

Educational activities of Christian missions in India can conveniently be classified into two periods:

(a) Activities of the early missions during the period 1614 -1800 and

(b) Activities of the later missions during the per­iod 1813 – 1882.

At the early stage the East India Company favoured the ed­ucational activities of the missionaries in various ways. Proselytizing and educational activities were started by the Company within its possessions. In 1614 it recruited Indians to propagate Christianity among their country­men. Some educational measures were taken for these “native missionaries”. In 1654 “the Court of Directors” allowed missionaries to embark on their ships for the purpose of propagation of Christianity in India.

In 1698, at the time of renewal of the Charter Act, a missionary clause was inserted in it. A chaplain was allowed to go to India in every ship of 500 tons. Ministers of religion were appointed in the factories of the Company in India. Schools were set up in almost all garrisons and factories. The chaplains of the three Presidency towns collected subscriptions and set up charity schools for poor children.

The East India Company assisted these charity schools in various ways:

(1) Disbursement of maintenance grants,

(2) Provision of non-recurring grants for lands and buildings,

(3) Arrangement for lotteries for collection of funds,

(4) Occasional repair of school buildings and

(5) Acceptance of school funds as deposits.

The missionaries worked under the banner of the Company which would withdraw its support to the missions under changed political circumstances in 1757 and later in 1765 on the pretext of religious neutrality. The educational institutions founded by the missions played a significant role in the development of modem education in India.

The missionaries act­ed as pioneers of private enterprise in education in India mainly based upon public charities.

2. Objectives of Missionary Educational Activities:

The missionaries undertook educational activities as an integral part of their work in India:

(a) The first and foremost object of the missionaries was to convert people to Christianity. The early missionaries started schools in India as an important means of proselytization.

(b) They wanted to prepare the minds of the people through education so that they could properly under­stand, appreciate and perceive the subtle doctrines and principles of Chris­tianity. They actually intended to prepare the soil before sowing the seeds of Christianity,

Activities of the Early Missionary Settlers in India:

Let us now consider the activities of the early missionary settlers in In­dia.

1. The Portuguese – The Jesuit Fathers of Portugal:
Of all the earlier missions the Portuguese came first. They are pioneers in missionary enterprise in India.

Their main purposes were two:

(a) To ear­ly out lucrative trade at western sea-coast of India and

(b) To propagate Christianity.

The Indian field was favourable for these works. They visited the Court of Akbar and established “Kuthis” or factories. They adopted various devices, fair or foul, to attract the Indian people. Their commercial and educational activities started in full swing with the disembarkment of the first Portuguese voyager named Vasco Da Gama at Calicut in the year 1496.

The Portuguese were Roman Catholic missionaries and they began to propagate the creed of Roman Catholicism at the Western Coast of India But proselytization and educational enterprise went hand in hand One was complementary to the other. As a result of their efforts, a new system of edu­cation came into existence in this part of the county.

They established vari­ous types of schools mainly primary for propagating Christianity and edu­cating the Portuguese children, the Eurasians and the Indian converts in their commercial centres at Calicut, Bombay, Goa, Daman, Diu and Basin on the western belt, Ceylon and Chittagung and Hooghly in Bengal.

The Portu­guese may be regarded as the pioneers of the modern system of education in India. With their arrival in this country the Roman Catholic missionaries began to pour in and open educational institutions in different parts of the country.

These institutions can be classified into four categories:

(1) Parochial Portuguese elementary schools;

(2) Parochial Orphanages for Indian children. Christian as well as non-Christian, for rudimentary in­struction in agricultural and industrial work;

(3) Jesuit Colleges for higher studies and

(4) Seminaries for theological instruction.

Of the earliest missionaries St. Xavier and Robert De Nobilli were most remarkable. The former arrived in India in 1542. He was a very energetic and zealous missionary and left no stone unturned to propagate the Gospel His motto was “to build school in every village”. Education and proselytization went hand in hand. Before the arrival of St. Xavier the Seminary of Santa Fe was set up in 1541.

In 1575 he founded a higher educational institution at Bandra near Bombay and established a press at Cochin. De Nobilli came a little later. His headquarters were at Madura, and he carried on his activities in the South. His services in the cause of Christianity are remarkable He called himself a western Brahmin and dressed himself like Indian ascetics. The Portuguese established the first Jesuit College at Goa in India. Where three hundred students used to receive education. In the Portu­guese first started a printing press at Goa.

In 1580, more colleges were set up at Goa and other places. In 1592 St. Ens Convent was established at Calicut. It is said that a Jesuit College was established by Emperor Akbar at Agra under the influence of the Jesuit priests. The Jesuit Fathers used the vernacu­lars as the media of propaganda and of instruction.

The heyday of Portuguese enterprise declined in the 17th century. The Portuguese pirates were much responsible for it. The maritime hegemony was also challenged by the Dutch. With the decline of maritime and mercantile efforts their missionary and educational efforts also declined Even after the downfall of the Portuguese their established institutions continued to exist. Many of the noted institutions of present day India owe their exis­tence to the untiring efforts of the early Portuguese missionaries.

2. The Dutch:
During the 17th century, the Dutch were considered as the greatest naval power in the world. The Dutch East India Company was set up in 1602. They started their commercial centres in Ceylon, Indonesia and some other IS of South East Asia. But their principal commercial centre was at Chinsura in the District of Hooghly in West Bengal.

It is interesting to note that torn the very beginning they adopted a policy of non-intervention in the religious affairs of the Indians. Their policy in India was strictly commercial. They were practical businessmen. They did not bother at all with the propagation of Christianity among the Indians.

They simply looked to their commercial interests and concentrated their attention on trade. It is true, however that they established some schools for the education of the children of the Company’s servants. Later on, Indian children were permitted to receive education in these schools.

They were Protestant by faith and tried to preach the tenets of the Protestant Church among the Catholics through educational institutions. Thus the contributions of the Dutch towards education in India were not so much significant.

3. The French:
The vacuum created by the withdrawal of the Portuguese was filled in by the French Danish and other missionaries in the fields of education and culture in India. The socio-political condition in the beginning of the 18th 2SE India was absolutely favourable for effective missionary and educational Enterprise. The French established their trading company in the year 1664 in India and opened their factories at Mahe, Karikol, Pondicherry and Chandernagore.

They set up primary schools in these business centres. In their educational enterprise the French imitated the Portuguese by and large. They established an efficient secondary school at Pondicherry to impart liberal education or “Culture Generate”. French was taught in this school. In the primary schools, education was impacted by native teachers through the medium of local languages. At Chandernagore they also set up a very modern and efficient secondary school and a college where French was taught.

In every school and college there was a religious missionary who preached the religion. Schools were set up mainly for the converts. Non- Christian children also were allowed to take education in these schools. They were helped with school supplies, food and clothes. Like the Portu­guese the French were also Roman Catholic.

The French efforts were chiefly restricted to Southern India. Here they entered into political and commer­cial battle with the British who ultimately came out successful. But the ed­ucational institutions they established continue to exist till date with rich tradition of their own.

4. The Danes: The Work of the Danish Mission in Madras:
The Danes were the first Protestant Missionaries who worked in the territories of the East India Company. They had no political ambition like the French and as such the East India Company’s officials were very much friendly to them. Most of the Danish missionaries “identified themselves with the English colonies in the South, halting where they halted and ad­vancing where they advanced”.

This means that the activities of the Danes were intimately connected with the rise of the British Empire in India. Though the political activities of the Danes were not so much important in our country, their religious and educational activities are of great significance.

In the 17th century the Danes established their factories at Tranquebar near Tanjore in Madras and at Serampore near Calcutta in Bengal. Tranquebar and Serampore were the main centres of operation of the Danish Protestant missionaries.

They secured the support of the officers of the East India Company in their missionary enterprise. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Danes were the pioneers of modern educational system in India.

The famous pioneers of the Danish Mission were two German mission­aries named Ziegenbalg and Plutschau. They started their educational ac­tivities at Tranquebar – a Danish settlement in South India in the year 1706. They learnt Tamil and set up a printing press in Tamil in 1713. In 1716 a training institution for teachers was set up by them at Tranquebar.

In 1717 they opened two charity schools in Madras for poor children – one for Por­tuguese and the other for Tamil children. Local language was the medium of instruction. Ziegenbalg translated the Bible in Tamil and a grammar in Tamil was also written by him. He also compiled a dictionary in Tamil.

Thus these missionaries greatly helped in the development of the local language. Denmark stopped pecuniary assistance to the Danish missionar­ies who were financed by the S. P. C. K. (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, established in England in 1698). Ziegenbalg died in 1719.

It was no doubt a great loss to the Danish missionaries, but his work was car­ried forward by his two competent, able followers and successors Kiernander and Schwartz. They extended his proselytizing and educational work to the entire South India including Tanjore, Madras, Trichinpolly, Cuddalore, Ramnad, Bombay etc.

“In 1742 Kiernander founded charity schools for Eu­rasians and Indians in and near Fort St. David. His work was so palpable and eminent that Lord Clive invited him to establish a charity: school in Calcutta. Accordingly he founded a few charity schools in Calcutta. Kiernader continued to work in Bengal for the rest of his life and did the same pioneering service to Bengal which Ziegenbalg did to Madras”.

But even more important service was rendered by Schwartz in Madras. He is regardedas the pioneer of education in the Province of Madras.

“He founded a school for European and Eurasian boys at Trichinpoly and an English charity school at Tanjore. For these works he received financial help from Hyder Ali. He translated the Bible into Telegu and compiled a Tamil diction­ary. He started three schools at Tanjore, Ramnad and Shivganga in 1785 with the object of teaching English to Indian children”.

Mr. John Sullivan the Company’s Resident at Tanjore, had keen interest in this venture and provided financial assistance to Schwartz in his enterprise to teach Eng­lish to Indian children as he thought that it would help the Company in its dealings with the local people. ‘These were the earliest schools for teaching the English language to Indians”. This is noteworthy in the history of English education in India.

5. The Work of the Serampore Trio and Others in Bengal (1758-1813):

The Danish missionaries in the South were very much fortunate as they were able to secure protection and financial assistance from the East India Company. But the missionaries who worked in Bengal were far less fortunate as they were deprived of such protection and help by the Company. However they received generous help from the Dutch Settlements at Serampore and Chinsura.

In 1720, Rv. Bellamy set up a school in Calcutta. A school was a so set up by the “Society for the Promotion of Indians” in 1731. We have already referred that Kiernander, a pioneer missionary in Bengal, set up a few char­ity schools in Bengal. This was followed by Dr. William Carey, a represen­tative of the Baptist Missionary Society.

Carey lifted his area of activi­ties due to some difficulties from Calcutta to Modanbati in Malda in 1793.

Here he established a school in the same year. In the following year (1794) Carey translated the New Testament in Bengali. In these activities he was greatly assisted by Mr. Udny who helped him to purchase a wooden printing press. Preparation of Bengali type by Charles Wilkins in 1778 also greatly helped him.

He came to Serampore near Calcutta for missionary work in 1799. In 1800 Ward and J. Marshman arrived in Calcutta and finally settled at Serampore, and joined hands with Carey. Thus the famous Se­rampore Trio came into existence.

This was an excellent combination for mis­sionary work because Dr. Carey was a great propagandist, Ward was a printer and Marshman was a school teacher. Carey was no doubt a jealous preacher. But in spite of this fact he was more an educationist than a mis­sionary, Carey was a linguist of the first order. He knew as many as 31 lan­guages.

He translated and printed the Bible in several languages in 1801. In 1803 the Baptist Mission published a pamphlet in Persian in which it ap­pealed the Muslim and Hindu (Addresses to Hindus and Mahamadans) community to renounce their religion and embrace Christianity. This en­raged the British authority in Calcutta who took stern measures against the Mission for the sake of communal harmony.

The Baptist Mission for the first time set up a modern Bengali press. In this respect the names of Charles Wilkins and Panchanon Karmakar can specially be mentioned. The Baptist Mission took the lead in the development of Bengali language. Raja Rammohan Roy, the noted reformer, helped them greatly in this regard. Carey wrote a grammar in Bengali language. He compiled a dictionary.

The Baptist Mission set up a library and a paper mill. The library is a treasure- house of both eastern and western learning till date. The Mission translated the Ramayana and the Mahabharata and managed to print these in Benga­li.

The “Samachar Darpan”, the first Bengali journal, was published by the Baptist Mission in 1818. Several other Bengali journals of the time were also published by the Mission. Dr. Carey had genuine interest in science ed­ucation. He was a botanist. He acted as the Superintendent of the Botanical garden at Sibpore for some time.

He also maintained a science laboratory, though miniature in form for experiments in life science. He was the Head of the Bengali Department at Fort William College. He was also a teacher of Sanskrit there. The Baptist Mission conducted several schools at Calcut­ta, Serampore and its neighbouring areas for boys and girls. They set up 115 elementary schools and a teacher-training institution for elementary teachers.

In 1818 the Serampore College was established which maintained its autonomous character for many years. This was the first English missionary College in India. This is a noted educational institution for western and eastern learning.

It still now offers the degree of Doctorate in Divinity. In 1810 Josua Marshman set up the Calcutta Benevolent Institution for native converts. His worthy wife, Hena Marshman, set up a Girls- School at Serampore.

The Baptists established schools in different parts of Bengal such as Dinajpore (1794), Jessore, Chittagung. Marshman also opened a boarding school at Serampore. In this way the Baptist Mission at Serampore contributed immensely to the development of education and thereby to the cause of cultural resurgence in Bengal.

Even in the face of numerous odds and financial difficulties they dedicated their lives for proselytization and educational activities.

Hostile Attitude of the East India Company towards Missionary Enterprise (1765 – 1813):

Missionary enterprise between 1765 -1813 was very show because of hos­tile and unsympathetic attitude of the Company towards missionary efforts for proselytization and education. The active co-operation of the Company was followed by breach of friendship.

The attitude of the Company was changed because of changed political and administrative situation in the country. A new turn came after the battle of plassey in 1757. The company became very cautious and sensitive as regards the religious sentiments of Hindus and the Muslims. It did not like to wound both the Hindus and the Muslims.

It wanted to placate these two communities in the interest of Brit­ish political gains. In 1765 the company became a political power as it ac­quired the Diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. The Company became con­scious of the added administrative responsibilities. It intended to follow a positive and definite administrative policy.

A policy of religious neutrality was followed by the Company. With the object of winning over the Hindus and the Muslims the Company placed a check upon the missionaries. It posed itself as the champion and preserver of Hindu and Muslim Culture and traditions. “The Company never surrendered its political and commercial in­terests to religious and educational interest of the Missions”.

In 1783 the Company ordered that no ship should carry a clergyman without valid li­cense. In 1793, unlicensed missionaries were expelled from the Company s territories. By about 1800 the Company became a strong opponent to Proselytization and educational activities of the Missions. The adoption of the Oriental policy in 1781 deprived the Mission schools of the financial sup­port of the Company.

The Directors of the Company declared unequivocally through their despatch of Sep., 1808, that their policy was strictly that of religious neutrality. It became difficult for the missionaries to work freely. They somehow maintained and continued their work till 1813.

But soon they would start agitation in favour of their proselytization and educational ac­tivities in India. That is a part of the whole missionary story in India.

7. The Earlier Proselytizing and Educational Activities of the East India Company (1600 – 1813):

This can conveniently be divided into two phases:

(a) 1600 -17651 and

(b) 1765 -1813.

We would first deal with the first phase, i.e., 1600 – 1765. The East India Company was chiefly a trading concern. Its main object was to earn dividend through trade. With this end in view the Company was esta­blished on 31st Dec. 1600. Even at this early stage the Company was en­gaged in fostering some proselytizing and educational activities within its possessions.

This was mainly due to two reasons:

(a) The spiritual welfare of the Company’s servants and

(b) The propagation of the Gospel (Christiani­ty) among the people of India.

To fulfill these ends the Company took some positive steps. In 1614 steps were taken “for the recruitment of Indians for the propagation of the Gospel among their countrymen”. Some educational measures were taken for these “native missionaries”. An Indian youth, Peter by name, was sent to England for missionary training at Company s cost.

In 1636 the department of Arabic was established at the University of Oxford- with a view to giving special training to missionaries for work in India. In the year 1659 the Court of Directors decided to spread Christianity among the people of India and allowed missionaries to embark on their ships.

In 1698 at the time of renewal of the Charter Act in the Parliament a mission­ary clause was inserted in it, and the Company was directed to maintain “ministers of religion” in their factories in India and to take a chaplain in every ship of 500 tons or more.

It was also directed that the Company should establish and maintain schools in all its garrisons and factories for the edu­cation of the Company’s soldiers and their Indian wives. With these prosel­ytizing activities the Company’s educational activities began. But no real educational responsibility was taken before 1813.

The missionary clause of the Charter Act of 1698 is very much signifi­cant. The Company took steps not only for education of the Indian people but also for education of the Anglo-Indian and European children in its posses­sions. According to the Charter of 1698, three chaplains were appointed in three Presidency towns – Madras, Calcutta and Bombay.

This led to the es­tablishment of free charity schools in these towns. Before the Act was passed a secondary school was established in Madras in 1673. After the Act St. Mary’s Charity School was established in Madras City (1715) by Rev. W. Stevenson at the patronage of the Madras Government. This was fol­lowed by the establishment of a charity school in Bombay by Rev. Richard Cobbe (1719).

A charity school was founded in Calcutta by Captain Bellamy in between 1720 – 1731. In 1731 a charity school was started by the Society for the Promotion of Indians in Calcutta. These charity schools were mainly supported by subscriptions and donations collected by the chaplains and the Company’s officials.

Similar charity schools were founded in different parts of Madras and Calcutta by the Danish Missions who received both patron­age and protection by the Company, and of which we have already men­tioned.

In 1787, a Female Orphan Asylum was opened in Madras by Lady Campbell, the wife of the Madras Governor. In the same year, a Male Asy­lum was also established in Madras by Dr. Andrew Bell. Dr. Bell experi­mented with his famous Monitorial System for the first time in this institu­tion.

The East India Company assisted these charity schools in various ways:

(a) It sanctioned recurring grants for their maintenance.

(b) It sanc­tioned occasional capital grants for constructing and repairing of school buildings and purchasing of lands for school-sites,

(c) It permitted lotteries for collection of funds,

(d) The Company’s officials were allowed to collect funds and offer voluntary services,

(e) It also used to accept school funds as deposits for which interest was paid at higher rate.

Thus the Company act­ed as the banker of the charity schools. It used the deposits also for its own business purpose. The charity schools were mainly intended for the poor children and orphans. Their main object was to teach the three R’s. Along with it, education was imparted in Christian doctrines also. Initially Portu­guese was used as the medium of instruction.

But in course of time it was giv­en up and English was adopted as the medium of instruction. Let us now con­sider the 2nd phase (1765 – 1813) of the educational efforts of the East India Company.

The company became a political pow­er in 1765. In that year Diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa was granted to the Company. This resulted in the change of attitude of the Company with regard to the missionaries and its future educational policy. In respect of re­ligion the Company followed a policy of complete religious neutrality.

As regards education the company:

(a) Shifted from European and Anglo-Indian children to Indian children,

(b) It emphasised higher learning through the media of classical languages in Madrashas and Tols.

(c) It patronised the learned Pandits and Maulavis by giving pecuniary grants to them and

(d) by endowing educational institutions for higher religious studies. The Company decided to maintain these traditions,

(e) Moreover, the company wanted to educate the sons of aristocratic Indians for lucrative jobs under the Govern­ment. Thus the Company intended to create a pro-English educated gentry with the object of consolidating its rule in India. So the Company felt the need of establishing some centres of higher learning for the Hindus and the Muslims.

Of these institutions the names of the Calcutta Madrasah, the Banaras Sanskrit College the Fort William College and the Fort St. George College can especially be mentioned. These entirely differed from the charity schools which were encouraged earlier by the Company.

The Calcutta Madrasah was founded by Warren Hastings, who was out and out a classicist, in the year 1781 with the object to “qualify the sons of Mahammedan gentlemen for responsible and lucrative offices in the state and to produce competent officers for Courts of Justice……… “. The Madrasah soon became a reputed institution attracting students from different parts of India. Lands yielding Rs. 29,000 were assigned to its support by the Govern­ment. Later Rs. 30,000 was granted annually from the State treasury for its maintenance.

It was first placed under Muslim management but later a Euro­pean Secretary was appointed for its efficient administration. The Govern­ment awarded scholarships to the students. Philosophy, principles of Quran, Law, Geometry, Arithmetic, Logic, Grammar were taught in this Madrasah. The medium of instruction was Arabic and the period of instruc­tion was seven years.

Another Oriental institution known as the Royal Asiatic Society came into existence in 1784 due to the untiring zeal of Sir William Jones. It is a noted institution of Asiatic culture till date. In the year 1791, the Benares Sanskrit College was founded by Jonathan Duncan for the sons of influential Hindus. Yearly a grant of Rs. 20,000 was sanctioned for its maintenance.

Its management was first placed under the care of Hindu Pandits but on grounds of mismanagement a European superintendent was ap­pointed to conduct the institution. The aims of this institution were identical with those of Calcutta Madrasah.

It prepared Hindus for lucrative services in the Govt., particularly in the Revenue and Judicial Departments. Muslim Maulavis and Hindu Pandits were indispensable for the interpretation and education of Muslim and Hindu Law respectively. Sanskrit was the medium of instruction in th6 Benares Sanskrit College. The curriculum of the college included theology, medicine, music, grammar, law, literature of Hindus etc.

The Fort William College was founded by Lord Wellesley in 1800 for the education of the young civil servants of the Company in oriental learn­ing. Here Hindu and Muslim Laws, Indian History, Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit were taught. Bengali language received tremendous encouragement in this college. Numerous text books were published in laws and languages of India.

Even purely literary works were produced. Such learned and distinguished teachers as Dr. Carey, Gilchrist, Colebrooke, Mrityunjoy Tarkalankar, Pan­dit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar were appointed to carry on teaching work. The Calcutta Sanskrit College was established later in 1824.

The establishment of these oriental institutions clearly indicates the beginning of the Oriental School of Educational Policy. “The advocates of this school of thought believed that the Company must not lend any support to missionary enterprise and proselytization”. It also advocated that the Company should not make any hasty attempt to teach western knowledge to the Indian.

people and encourage classical learning in Sanskrit and Arabic on traditional lines. The policy of the Oriental School of thought was more po­litical than educational. This policy was adopted on grounds of religious neutrality or political expediency to conciliate the Indian people, both Hin­dus and Muslims.

“The Orientalist views were readily accepted by the Court of Directors. The principal object of the educational policy of the Company during the period 1765-1813 was to encourage traditional oriental learning in Sanskrit and Arabic and the bulk of the educational expenditure was in­curred on the maintenance of the Calcutta Madrasah and the Banaras Sanskrit College”.

The Oriental School of Thought laid emphasis on higher education, and not on primary or secondary education. Emphasis was also laid on education of the higher classes of the Hindus and the Muslims, and not the lower classes. It also emphasised on the encouragement of Hindu and Muslim classical learning through the media of classical languages in­stead of western knowledge through English.

Let us now turn our attention to the reaction of the missionaries to the changed and hostile attitude of the Company after 1765. Prior to 1765 the attitude of the Company was favoura­ble to missionary work. But this attitude began to change as soon as the Com­pany assumed political authority in India.

The Company became conscious of its political responsibility in changed situation and decided to maintain a policy of strict religious neutrality on ground of political expediency and to sever all connection with missionary enterprise including proselytization and education.

“By about 1800, the East India Company became a staunch opponent of all attempts of proselytization and tried to keep the missionar­ies out of its territories”.

Again because of the Oriental policy followed by the Company in education since 1787, the mission schools lost the sympathy and financial support of the Company.

8. Agitation in the British Parliament in Favour of the Missionaries:

The Missionaries did not like these changes, criticised the new policies of the Company and tried to revive the old tradition through agitation which started both in and outside the British Parliament. In the British Parliament a demand was voiced since the beginning of the 19th century to shoulder the responsibility of education by the Government itself.

But the British Government was reluctant to take that responsibility. As regards In­dia, the Company was not at all prepared to undertake the responsibility of education. But ultimately as a result of the agitation raised by Edmund Burke, Wilberforce and Charles Grant in the British Parliament and efforts of Lord Minto in India, the Company had to shoulder this significant respon­sibility of Indian education.

In India, the missionaries were powerless to fight against the anti- missionary attitude and Orientalist policy of education of the Company. So they began an intensive agitation in England with the object of persuading Parliament to give the necessary freedom and assistance to missionaries through legislation.

The leader of the agitation was Charles Grant who is known as the “father of modern education in India”. In the year 1792, Grant published his famous pamphlet entitled “Observation on the State of Socie­ty among the Asiatic subjects of Great Britain”.

In this pamphlet Grant ob­served in his own way on the character, education and intellectual condition of the Indian people. He wrote: “The true cure of darkness is the Introduc­tion of light. The Hindoos err, because they are ignorant. In Bengal, a man of real veracity and integrity is a rarity; one conscientious in the whole of his conduct, it is to be feared, is an unknown character………..Patriotism is ab­solutely unknown in Hindoostan”.

Grant held that there are two main causes of the miserable condition of the Indian people:

(a) Ignorance and

(b) Want of proper religion.

So Grant suggested that only the spread of Western edu­cation and Christian doctrine could improve the moral standard of the Indi­an people. He recommended that western light and knowledge including arts, literature and philosophy should be communicated to the Indian peo­ple. He held that English language should be adopted as the medium of in­struction. Grant further held that spread of western knowledge and Chris­tian religion would change the entire thought sphere of the Indian people.

He hoped that western science would bring about industrial and agricultural development, and ultimately economic progress. Thus “external prosperity and social peace” will be ushered in among the people. Nearly all the rec­ommendations of Grant were accepted later on. The Charter Act of 1813 bears clearly the stamp of Grant upon it.

However his “observations” are not without criticisms. It is said that Grant’s observation is an exaggerated statement. It is a half truth and not full truth. It is unpleasant, discourteous and fallacious. It is not at all convincing that mass conversion to Christiani­ty may regenerate Indian Society. This may be treated as a mere conjecture.

Spread of English education may not also help proselytization. Grant’s view was not true that no political dangers could follow from English education or proselytization. The subsequent developments disprove this contention of Grant. In spite of these criticisms Grant’s proposals and recommendations contain the germs of future educational developments in India.

These had far-reaching educational impact. After all, his motives were sincere and honourable. His main purpose was to awaken moral sense among the Indians through the spread of western education. As early as in 1792, Grant foresaw the future developments in Indian education.

He suggested the adoption of English as the medium of education as well as the language of the Govern­ment, a decision which was ultimately taken by Lord William Bentinck in 1835. Macaulay also advocated the adoption of English as the medium of in­struction in subsequent years. It is because of these practical and prophetic suggestions that Grant is regarded as the father of modern education in In­dia.

He paved the way for the introduction of English education in India and the educational clauses of the Charter Act of 1813.

At the time of the renewal of the Company’s Charter in 1793, Wilber-force, another staunch missionary and philanthropist, vehemently attacked the educational policy of the Company in the Parliament. He moved a reso­lution in the Parliament by which be demanded free access of teachers and missionaries to India who would impart useful western knowledge for the moral and material improvement of the inhabitants in India.

This would en­sure better and mutual understanding of the ruler and the ruled. (The same was pleaded by Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Grant earlier). He further pleaded for insertion of a clause in the charter in support of missionary activities in In­dia.

The Court of Directors opposed the resolution violently and stick to the policy of religious neutrality on ground of political expediency; they were dead against missionary activities and were not eager to educate Indians on political and financial grounds.

They raised the analogy of American Colo­nies. They further urged that “the Hindus had as good a system of faith and morals as most people and that it would be madness to attempt their conver­sion or to give them any more learning “. Consequently the proposal of Wilberforce was negative by the British Parliament.

This defeat gave a set-back to missionary enterprise in India. Because of “this active hostil­ity of the Company” the missionaries out of anger began to criticize the dif­ferent policies of the Company including its political and commercial under­takings.

Thus “the relations between the missionaries and the Company became very much strained after 1793. Between the period 1793 and 1813, the Company did not ordinarily issue a permit to any missionary to work within its territories, expelled several missionaries as soon as they became active and tried to convert people”.

While the missionaries were agitating in England for the expansion of western learning in India, the Company’s officials were agitating in India for bolder steps for the expansion of eastern learning (oriental culture) in In­dia. Thus the objectives of the missionaries and their supporters were just opposite to those of the Company’s senior officials who constituted mostly of the Orientalists.

They demanded for larger funds and vigorous steps to re­vive and improve the classical learning in India. Lord Minto was the Governor-General of India for the period 1806 – 1813. He was a staunch admirer of Oriental Literature and learning. He wrote a Minute on 6th March, 1811, to the Court of Director; He observed; “It is a common remark that science and literature are in a progressive state of decay among the natives of India ………….. The number of the learned is not only diminished, but the learned circle appears to be considerably contracted. The abstract sciences are aban­doned, polite literature neglected, and no branch of learning cultivated. ………. The immediate consequence of this state of things is the disuse, and even actual loss, of many valuable books; and it is to be apprehended that, unless Government interfere with a fostering hand, the revival of letters may shortly become hopeless for a want of books, or of persons capable of ex­plaining them”.

Thus Lord Minto urged in his Minute that the Company should give all possible encouragement to the study and preservation of the oriental learning of the Hindus and the Muslims. “He further submitted pro­posals for reforming the Calcutta Madrasah and the Banaras Sanskrit Col­lege”.

He also suggested for the establishment of two more Sanskrit Colleges and some new Madrasahs (Bhagalpur, Gaunpur and other places) with the object of preserving a high standard of Hindu and Is­lamic culture.

Thus the officials of the Company proceeded exactly in the opposite direction and a violent controversy arose between the friends and supporters of the Missions (mostly young officials) and the Company’s senior officials (the Orientalists) on the other.

Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 10/17/2021 01:47AM by administrator.

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