05/09/2016, 18.58
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Odisha: evangelical clergyman killed, throat cut, body dumped under a bridge

by Nirmala Carvalho

Abraham Biswas Surin was the pastor of the Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church in Khunti, Jharkhand. His mutilated body was found in Odisha. The incident remains murky since the pastor was supposed to attend a meeting in another city. CCTV cameras show him in the company of an unknown man.

Rourkela (AsiaNews) – Rev Abraham Biswas Surin, a pastor with the Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church (GEL) in Khunti (Jharkhand), was found dead with his throat cut and several wounds to his body, in the state of Odisha.

The incident remains a riddle since the clergyman was supposed to take part a meeting in Ranchi (Jharkhand), but was found in the neighbouring state. Investigators have ruled out robbery, since all his personal effects were found.

"The murder of Rev A B Surin is a mystery, Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), told AsiaNews. “He was found with his throat slashed, his body showing injuries to the head and stomach. The GCIC will pray for the pastor’s soul and asks God to bring consolation to the widow and family."

Biswas Surin Abraham, 64, was an Adivasi. On 5 May, he left his home in Khunti district, on his way to Ranchi.

“We are shocked by the murder,” said GEL Secretary General Eliazer Topno. “Perhaps the pastor was killed for circumstantial reasons. We asked the Lutheran Evangelical Christians of Rajgangpur to take the matter to the police and the government of Orissa (Odisha)."

He said he is in dark as to why the incident took place since no GEL meeting was scheduled in Ranchi. "I do not understand,” he said, “because the pastor had informed his family that he was going to Ranchi, when his body was found in Rourkela, 215 km from that city."

Police found the murder weapon near the body, an axe with a long handle. They also recovered his personal items, like a ring, wallet, and mobile phone. This rules out robbery as a motive.

Some witnesses said they saw Rev Surin for the last time on 5 May near the Rourkela railway station, around 10 pm. Apparently, he had arrived by train from Hatia, Jharkhand.

Witnesses said he was in the company of a man, as CCTV cameras also show. Relatives were shown the video, but no one could identify him.

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