KILLINGS OF PASTORS IN A.P. AND T.S. 2004 – 14
(Only some incidents collected from different sources are mentioned below)
Hindu activist admits to killing two pastors in 2005 On 24th May 2005, Pastor Isaac Raju from Hyderabad was asked by two persons, named Govardhan and Satya, to accompany them to the main road. He went without hesitation as they had earlier called him to have a prayer in their house but had failed to come to take him there. Later the pastor was found beheaded, his body cut into many pieces and defaced with acid. The body was found in a jute sack in a cemetery. There has been no progress in this case. The case filed in Toli Chowki police station is still pending. On 19th May 2005 the brutal murder of Pastor Daniel, who lived in Asif Nagar, on the outskirts of Hyderabad. Friday, 24 June 2005 (Deccan Chronicle): Hindu Vahini activist Goverdhan has confessed to murdering two pastors of Hyderabad. The special operations team of the Cyberabad police took Goverdhan to Shamshabad and Golconda on 24 June 2005 to reconstruct the sequence of the crimes. Pastor K Daniel (35), a resident of Asifnagar, was found murdered at Shamshabad on 20 May 2005 and the body of Pastor Isaac Raj (55), a resident of Raidurgam, was found at Golconda on 25 May 2005.Goverdhan, an autorickshaw driver, who stays at Joshiwadi in Mangalhat, told the police that he was an activist of Hindu Vahini, a fundamentalist organisation. Two other persons, Satyanarayana of Kukatpally and Ganesh of Karimnagar, had helped Goverdhan carry out the killings. The Police are on the lookout for both of them. “It was religious fanaticism which drove them to the murders,” said an investigating officer. “There are no other motives”. The Police said both the pastors were killed at the same spot. Goverdhan knew them since they had held prayer meetings in his locality. “We haven’t questioned the leaders of Hindu Vahini so far,” said the investigating officer. The police have not yet found any link between the killing of the two pastors in Hyderabad and the murder of Pastor Yesudas in Karimnagar. “We will get a full picture after arresting the other two persons,” said a police officer. The office-bearers of Hindu Vahini denied having anything to do with the killings. Hindu Vahini regional secretary K Trivikrama Rao said the outfit had nothing to do with the murders. “The Police are torturing our activists,” he said. “It is a deliberate ploy to crush Hindu organisations. The cops took away our leaders Surender and Goverdhan to torture them. They are forcing our activists to confess to the killings,” he added. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy announced an ex gratia of Rs 3 lakh each to the families of the two pastors murdered in Hyderabad. He also promised other relief measures to the families “who are struggling to come to terms with the loss of their bread-winners”. 4th Pastor to be martyred in just over the past year in 2006 On 9th July 2006, Pastor Prem Kumar of Kotagiri, Nizamabad district, was found brutally murdered, in an open place near the town. He was invited for a prayer meeting and on his way he was brutally murdered by smashing his head with stone. The FIR is filed at Kotagiri Police station & received by Sub Inspector of Police Ch.Anjaneyulu on 09-06-06. The body of 67-year old Pastor Prem Kumar, a 67-year-old preacher from the Church of South India, was found Thursday, June 8th in a forest in the Nizamabad district of Andhra Pradesh state. Pastor Kumar was contacted by a young man requesting that Kumar lead a prayer service in the village of Rampur Thanda. Pastor Kumar was attacked with stones and boulders and his head was crushed beyond recognition. Kumar is the fourth church leader to have been murdered in Andhra Pradesh state in just over a year. The May 2005 murders of Pastor K. Daniel, who was found brutally mutilated in Hyderabad after his attackers poured acid on him, and Pastor Isaac Raju, who was wrapped in a jute bag and dumped behind bushes in the Golconda area outside the city, took place under similar circumstances. Both men were lured to a remote location in a similar manner to Pastor Kumar. The men arrested for the murders publicly admitted their opposition to the alleged conversion activities of the two pastors. Pastor Pastor Goda Israel Killed in 2007 Pastor Goda Israel (29) was found murdered on Feb. 20, 2007 in a canal near his home in Pedapallparru, Andhra Pradesh. Pastor Israel, who supervised 15 churches, went missing following a prayer meeting on Feb. 17. It is reported he did not come back from the prayer meeting. The family and church members informed local police station. It is reported Israel had been threatened by Hindu militants earlier because of his involvement in preaching gospel in the region. Israel leaves behind a wife and small children. Catholic Priest Fr Thomas Pandipally Killed in 2008 The tortured and disfigured body of a Carmelite priest was reportedly found in the Yellareddy area of Naxalites-infected district of Nzamabad in Andhra Pradesh on Saturday, August 16, 2008. The body of Father Thomas Pandipally CMI, 37, a member of Carmelite of Mary Immaculate, as found when people waiting for Sunday Mass in a village began a search after the priest failed to turn up. On a way side in Yellardy they found his body with legs and hands crushed with sever beatings, and eyes were pierced with a sharp weapon. He is believed to be killed on Saturday night. His motor bike was also found abandoned. The body was found almost a kilometer from the motor bike that he used. His head and also had serious injuries. The body was found in a deserted area in Balampilly village. On Saturday he reportedly offered a Mass Burgida village, where he stayed and started for another village to say Sunday Mass. On his way he visited an FCC convent in Lingapetta and had his supper. On Sunday the sisters were waiting for the priest for the mass in Yellareddy, and not finding him there initiated a search. A Post mortem was conducted and the burial would be at the Balampilly Provincial house on Wednesday morning. The priest was actively involved in educational field. He joined the Chanda mission of the CMI on 24th June 1987. He was ordained a priest in 2002. He was the rector for the Chanda mission province of the CMI, and also worked as hospital administrator, school manager and mission centre director. Murder of Pastor Rev. B. Sanjeevulu in 2014 On the afternoon of January 11, 2014 four men visited Pastor Rev. B. Sanjeevulu’s home in Vikarabad of Ranga Reddy district, a village that is 64 kilometers from the state capital of Hyderabad, who served a group called the ‘Friends of Hebron’. The men said they wanted to “pray with the pastor,” but as soon as he came out of his house, they stabbed him several times and beat him with clubs and sticks. On hearing screams, Sanjeevulu’s wife rushed to him, where upon the attackers tried to kill her as well. Although she was stabbed, she managed to escape and survive. The pastor was admitted to Yashoda hospital in Hyderabad where died on the afternoon of Jan. 13, 2014 from his stab wounds. Compiled from various sources by: Rev. Fr. Dr. Anthoniraj Thumma, M.A. (Soc.), M.Th., Ph. D. Executive Secretary, A.P. Federation of Churches – APFC (Ecumenical) Deputy Secretary, A.P. Bishops’ Council – APBC (Catholic) Regional Director, APBC Commission for Ecumenism and Dialogue.