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Wednesday, 7 June, 2000, 13:00 GMT 14:00 UK
Catholic priest killed in Mathura

By Satish Jacob in Delhi

The police in the north Indian city of Mathura are investigating the murder of a Roman Catholic priest.

Brother George's badly-battered body was discovered by other inmates of a mission involved in rural development work in the countryside around the city.

There are no indications as yet of the motives of the crime, but the murder follows a series of attacks on Christian institutions and clergy in the area in the past two months.

Mathura violence
June: Catholic priest murdered
April: Two nuns, priest injured as intruders attack school
April: Principal of a catholic school assaulted

A senior police official said Brother George was apparently hit on the head by iron rods.

Police found a couple of rods lying in the priest's room.

A personal assistant of Brother George told the police that some intruders broke into the house in the middle of the night.

He said the intruders locked him and another boy, who lived with the priest, in a room.

Third attack

This is the third attack on the Christians in Mathura.

In April, two nuns and a priest were badly injured when unidentified people broke into the premises of a school run by the Roman Catholic Church.

Staines memorial
Staines and his two sons were burnt alive

A day before that, the principal of another Roman Catholic school was assaulted in his house.

There have been a number of attacks against the Christians in different parts of the country in the past two years.

Staines' killing

The most serious incident took place in the state of Orissa, where an Australian missionary, Graham Staines, and his two sons were found burnt alive while they slept in their car.

The opposition parties and Christian leaders in the country have expressed their concern over violence against Christian missionaries.

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Delhi, Alan de Lastic, met Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee last month to raise with him the concerns of the Christian community.

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22 May 00 | South Asia
Christians attacked in south India
01 Feb 00 | South Asia
Missionary 'killer' arrested in India
24 Sep 99 | South Asia
Protests at nun sex attack
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