Father Xavier Thelekkatt, 52, rector of the Malayattoor Kurishumudi church - an global pilgrim centre - was stabbed to death by the church sexton here on Thursday. Kochi Cheranellur native Fr. Xavier Thelakkad was killed by sexton Johny. The priest, who is very popular among the laity has been working as the rector of the global shrine for the past eight years.
"It took place at the sixth sector of the pilgrimage around 10.45 am, when the sexton suddenly came in front of the priest and following an argument, stabbed Thelekat", Jimmy said.
Following an altercation, he stabbed Fr. Xavier with a knife on his legs and thigh and fled into a nearby forest.
"He was terminated from the job after some issue". Only one person was along with the Priest at the time and it took time to take him to the valley. Reports said the priest was intercepted on the path leading to the hill-top shrine by Johny who was placed under suspension from service as part of disciplinary action, three months ago. The body of the priest, handed over to the Church authorities after autopsy, will be kept in Malayattoor tomorrow for the public to pay their last respects. The rector was a practicing advocate.
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