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Thursday, March 23, 2017
Three priests killed in India
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 Two Salesian priests and a seminarian were shot dead on Tuesday, by separatist rebels in the north-east Indian state of Manipur. Police said about seven armed men burst into the seminary at Ngarian, 20km from the state capital, Imphal. AFP news agency reported that police chief AS Saddiqui said: "Three militants entered the seminary premises and first demanded money from the three priests at gunpoint. They gave whatever money they had but the militants shot them dead before leaving the spot." The victims were Fr Raphael Paliakara 43, the novice master, Fr Andreas Kindo 32, who came from the state of Jharkhand in central India, and Fr Shinu Joseph, who was from the southern state of Kerala. MISNA, the missionary news service report that the funerals are due to take place today (17 May) at 5pm on the Salesian College Campus in Dimapur. They write: "As a mark of respect for the victims and also as a sign of refusal to yield to the prevalent violence and extortion, all Catholic schools in North East India will remain closed on Friday 18 May." Fr Thomas Mulayinkal, the Salesian Provincial of the area, told MISNA that there is a growing sense of fear in the missionary community which has suffered several attacks in recent years. In 1990 Fr Matthew Manianchira was killed in Canchipur. In 1992 Salesian Fr V.J. Sebastian, rector of the Don Bosco school in Imphal survived a violent robbery. In 1996 an armed group broke into the Little Flower school of the Salesian nuns in Imphal, setting fire to a jeep and destroying some computers. In 1997 unidentified gunmen shot Salesian Fr N. V. Joseph, rector of a Catholic school. Last December, a diocesan priest, who was principal of a school, was shot dead and in February this year another escaped an attack.
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