Hyderabad: Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, has accepted the demand for ordering a comprehensive investigation into the killing of 10 Pastors and also numerous attacks on the Christians by communal groups in the State.
The Chief Minister also ordered a meeting to decide on the measures to be taken to make a thorough enquiry into the murder of Fr Thomas Pandipally on 16 August 2008. The assurances followed a meeting that Archbishop M Joji had held with the Chief Minister on 22 August 2008. The Archbishop had led a 12 member delegation of Catholic leaders. The funeral of Fr Thomas took place at Bellamppalli on 20 August 2008. The funeral service was presided over by Archbishop Abraham Viruthagulangara of Nagpur. Mrs Saramma, the mother of Fr Thomas, came from the United States with his brothers and sisters to take part in the burial.
On 19 August 2008 Archbishop Joji had sent a detailed report of the murder to Rev Pedro Lopez Quintana, the Apostolic Nuncio to India, who took up the matter with the Ministry of Home Affairs. All the Members of the Hierarchy in India (CBCI) were also sent a copy of the same urging them to devise a plan at the national level to put an end to the atrocities of the extremists.
The Archdiocese of Hyderabad and the Andhra Pradesh Federation of Churches (APFC) sent memoranda to the Prime Minister, the UPA Chairperson and the Home Minister in New Delhi and to the Ministers for Minorities Welfare and the Home Affairs in Andhra Pradesh. The National Commission for Minorities, the AP State Minorities Commission and the AP State Human Rights Commission are being requested to ensure a thorough investigation into the present case and all the killings of Pastors and attacks on Christians in the State.