Sonia assures CBI inquiry into priest's death in AP

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New Delhi, Sep 6 (UNI) UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi today assured a church delegation that she would take up with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy the demand for a CBI inquiry into the killing of Fr Thomas Pandippally in Nizamabad district of the state on August 16.

A delegation from the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, one of the largest regligious congregations in the Catholic Church, met Ms Gandhi and submitted a memorandum seeking her intervention to expedite the inquiry into the murder of Fr Pandippally whose body was found on the roadside at Lingampet on August 17.

He was murdered by unidentified assailants apparently on the night of August 16 when he was returning home on his bike after conducting a mass.

The delegation consisted of CMI Superior General Fr Jose Panthaplanthottiyil, Vicar General Fr George Thanchan and 'Deepika' Daily's Delhi Bureau Chief George Kallivayalil.

Fr Panthaplanthottiyil told UNI here tonight that Ms Gandhi assured him that she would ask the government to take all possible steps to end violence unleashed by communal forces against minorities and Christians in Orissa and ensure security to their lives and properties.

The Superior General also submitted separate memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister A K Antony and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vyalar Ravi.

UNI SH PK CS2038

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