3 Salesians Shot Dead at Novitiate in India

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IMPHAL, India, MAY 15, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Two priests and a seminarian were shot dead by militant groups at this town in northeast India, the ANS news service reported.

The victims were members of the Salesians of Don Bosco, who have a number of schools in the area.

About 8 p.m., gunmen entered the Salesian novitiate at Imphal and killed the novice instructor, Father Raphael Paliakara, and two others, Father Andreas Kindo and Brother Shinu Joseph.

Father Thomas Mulayinkal, the Salesian provincial, said that a sense of fear has prevailed over the region for a long time due to the demand for money made by various underground groups.

In December a diocesan priest who was the principal of a school was shot dead and in February another escaped an attempt on his life. After this, Father Mulayinkal said he closed down all the schools for a month and recalled all the principals from their posts.