Missing Priest traced in Dehradun

Francis Fernandez

SHILLONG: (Nov 2nd, 2011) –  Rector of  Don Bosco College, Tura, West Garo Hills, Fr. Francis Fernandez (57),  who went missing on October 26 while he was travelling in a Guwhati-bound train from Delhi, was traced on Tuesday(1st Nov)  with his nephew at Dehradun.

He was later taken to a hospital in Delhi for treatment. “How he landed up in Dehardun is not known,” sources said adding that he was drugged and was too weak to reveal anything.


1 Comment

Filed under Francis Fernandez

One response to “Missing Priest traced in Dehradun

  1. Don Bosco priest alive
    – Fr Fernandez drugged and robbed in Rajdhani
    Shillong, Nov. 2: Fr Francis Fernandez, the Catholic priest who went missing from the Delhi-Guwahati Rajdhani Express on October 27, showed up at his nephew’s place in Dehradun drugged and ill last night but the mystery of the intervening days remains to be unveiled.

    “Fr Fernandez was drugged, tonsured and in a shabby dress. We suspect it to be a case of defaming the person by vested interests,” Fr V.M. Thomas, the founder director of Don Bosco Institute, Guwahati, said today. “This could be the handiwork of an organised group. We will seek the help of higher government authorities to find out who were behind the crime.”

    He said Fr Fernandez was drugged and too weak to reveal details. As his health deteriorated yesterday, his nephew and friends considered taking him to a Delhi hospital but finally decided against it.

    Fr Thomas said investigations were on though the priest had been traced.

    Fr Joseph Almeida, provincial superior of Guwahati told a Catholic news agency today that Fr Fernandez was still in a daze and had not been able to reveal details. He said the priest’s nephew had informed him last night that the missing priest had shown up at his house in Dehradun.

    He said the 57-year-old rector of Don Bosco College, Tura, West Garo Hills, had apparently been drugged by a fellow passenger on the train. He was found on the road by someone who recognised him as a priest, gave him food and Rs 500 to reach Dehradun.

    Asked why Fr Fernandez had chosen to go back to Dehradun instead of calling priests in Guwahati or Tura for help, a Don Bosco priest here said Fr Fernandez might have remembered only his nephew there following the sedation.

    “We have learnt that he was left with only Rs 300. All his other belongings had been looted by the criminals,” he added.

    “It is a fact that he reached till Katihar in Bihar in Rajdhani Express. But what happened after that can only be known once the priest fully recovers from sedation,” the priest said.

    Fr Fernandez had left Tura for Guwahati at 6.30pm on October 22 and taken a flight to Delhi the next day to meet some friends and his nephew in Dehradun.

    On October 26, he boarded the Rajdhani Express from Delhi and was scheduled to arrive in Guwahati at 5.30pm the next day.

    On October 27, when the train reached Katihar in Bihar around 8am, his colleague in Tura received a text message from him, saying he would arrive in Guwahati at 5.30pm that day.

    Around 1pm, the colleague received another text message from a co-passenger saying that the priest had been taken ill and had “expired” in a hospital at Kishanganj on the Bihar-West Bengal border.

    However, the railway police at Kishanganj found no evidence of this during investigation.

    On October 29 night, the police recovered his personal belongings from a dustbin at Siliguri railway station, leading to the suspicion that a criminal gang had drugged and robbed him and then deboarded the train at Siliguri.

    On October 31, the Don Bosco Institute received another text message saying the priest was somewhere on the Tripura-Bangladesh border going by satellite signals. This was probably because the goons were using his cell phone in the area.

    The police are trying to identify the gang that drugged the priest, tonsured him and robbed him of his belongings.

    Reports say some residents of Katihar and Kishanganj were travelling with the priest in coach B2 of Rajdhani Express.

    Fr Fernandez’s relatives from Ernakulam in Kerala, including his parents and two brothers, and a cousin brother, a salesian from the province of Guwahati, have gone to Dehradun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s