Action demanded against
ATTACK ON CATHOLIC PRIEST
VARANASI: Representatives from Fathers and Sisters from Church Institutions of Varanasi and from a consortium of social activists in Varanasi called “Sajha Sanskriti Manch” met city’s District Magistrate and SSP demanding prompt action against those who attacked a 64 years Catholic Priest Father Dr Joseph Neetilal on the night of 29 September 2007.
Although police lodged the FIR and took possession of the motorcycle used by alleged attackers, still no action has been taken to-date to bring the alleged attackers to books.
Father Joseph hails originally from Kerala State, and is the Secretary of the secular registered society, ‘Lok Chetana Samiti Varanasi’. He has been working from his office near Chiraigaon Chauki in Varanasi since 1994. His main work consists in educating people in all issues connected with rural development especially in view of community building and communal harmony, making effective use of the Panchayati raj system as a means for the same.
At about 6.30 pm on 29 September, two unidentified people attacked him at his residence with ‘desi Katta’ (country-made pistol) and knife, demanding money. However Father Joseph didn’t yield and putting his life in danger, took the serious risk and with the help of his other two associates Father Emmanuel D’Cunha and Father Bins John to catch hold of one of the attackers. The local residents are witness to the entire episode. Eventually the alleged attacker escaped leaving behind his motorcycle (registration number UP65 B 2017) and also the ‘desi Katta’ and knife used by them to intimidate and injure Father Joseph.
Earlier Father Joseph and Sister Lily Mathew (also from Varanasi) had received threatening phone calls and had duly reported the matter (along with the phone numbers used for making those threatening calls) to Station Officer of police station in Sarnath, Varanasi.
Till-date, police has neither traced back these phone numbers nor the owner of the motorcycle used by the two alleged people who attacked Father Joseph.
UPDATE from VARANASI by Father Anand:
I am very glad to inform you that the campaign for booking the culprit behind the attack on Neeti Bhai (Fr.Neetilal IMS) has brought a positive result.
The criminal who attacked Neeti Bhai with gun and knife, has been arrested by the police today. Neet Bhai was called to identify him. The police has assured that they will within two days unsolve the conspiracy behind the incident. Let us wait and see. Thanks a lot for your cooperation. If you have not sent the appeal to the DGP, there is no need to send it.
Thanks a lot from Neeti Bhai and all of us here.