ASIA/INDIA - Catholic priest vicar general of Patna archdiocese in critical condition after being beaten and stabbed

Friday, 15 April 2005

Patna (Fides Service) - The Vicar General of the archdiocese of Patna in the north eastern Indian state of Bihar, Rev. Matthew Uzhuthal, is in critical health conditions after being brutally beaten and stabbed. He was attacked in his office in Makama parish in Patna. The aggression took place on April 11 but the news reached Fides only today. The priest was in his parish office when a young man appeared. After a few moments of heated conversation the youth attacked the priest, stabbing him in the neck. Other priests in the parish heard Rev. Matthew’s cries and rushed to his rescue. Rev. Gyan Prakash diocesan secretary said the vicar general was taken immediately to hospital for treatment. His condition is still critical but doctors say his life is not in danger.
According to the local police who are investigating the crime, the young man demanded a large sum of money and attacked the priest when he refused. It would seem to be a case of extortion, but the police say they have not excluded connections with Hindu fundamentalism.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 15/4/2005 righe 25 parole 247)