Saturday, May 28, 2005

Pastor Missing in Andhra Pradesh

HYDERABAD: Four days after a gospel preacher, K. Daniel, was found murdered on the city outskirts, a pastor, K. Isaac Raju, went missing, keeping the police on tenterhooks.

Though no link had been established between the two cases, except that both fell under the Rajendranagar division of the Cyberabad police, the All-IndiaChristina Council, expressing concern over the incidents, urged the Governmentto speed up the investigation.

Mr. Isaac Raju (45) of Prashanti Hills in Rayadurgam received a call on hislandline on Tuesday around 7.30 p.m. From Vinod asking him whether he wouldperform a marriage. He expressed his readiness, but the caller did not turn uptill 9.30 p.m. Around the same time he received another call and went out.

Incidentally, none of the pastor's family members saw him going out. His wife,K. Satyaveni, grew suspicious as he did not return till Wednesday and lodged acomplaint with the Rayadurgam police.

According to the pastor's younger sister, Esther Rani, two youngsters came totheir house on May 13 and one of them introduced himself as Vinod. As the pastor was away, Vinod asked her if Isaac Raju would perform marriages. After waiting for sometime, they left saying they would call up the pastor.

"What baffles us is the lack of information from Vinod who has taken the pastorout. And the recent killing of Daniel adds to our apprehension," the AICCSecretary (Public Affairs), Sam Paul, said.

He made it clear that Raju had neither any enemy nor was involved in anycontroversy. As the pastor was not in the habit of using a mobile, no leadscould be stumbled upon. Even as the Rayadurgam police were racking their brains over the mysterious disappearance, the Shamshabad police investigating into Daniel's killing were completely at sea.

While fears were expressed over the possible involvement of some fundamentalist organisations, the police were not ready to buy the theory. The Shamshabad and Asifnagar police (where the victim's house is located) made inquiries over reports of Daniel receiving threats from some persons. But, they did not get any clue. Daniel's parents, native of an interior village near Sircilla of Karimnagar, told the police that their son rarely met them after getting married four years ago.

The only hope for the investigating officials was the victim's mobile phone thatwas taken away by the killers. But, that too was found switched off.

The AICC representatives submitted memoranda in the offices of the DGP and the Cyberabad Police Commissioner.