Parents of Fr. James, who was found dead at Kuntady near Thottathady in Karnataka on July 30 last, have called for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the cause of their son's death.

Sebastian Mukalel and Rosamma Mukalel, parents of the deceased, said at a press conference here on Saturday that the Karnataka police had not conducted any proper investigation into the death of their son.

Settled at Alakkode here, they said that only the CBI could conduct a proper investigation into the case of their son's death under suspicious circumstances as the evidence in the case had to be collected from Karnataka and Kerala.

They said that they had submitted a representation to the Karnataka and Kerala government demanding a CBI inquiry.

Fr. James (39), had served in different parishes in the Thalassery Archdiocese before being transferred to the Belthangady Diocese in Karnataka and had been the parish priest of Thottathady-Kanchal from 2003 to 2006. The parents said that he had gone to Thottathady on July 29 to attend a burial on his two-wheeler. As per the information, he had been accompanied by a shopkeeper at Thottathady. His body had been found on the road near the house of the shopkeeper, they said.

They said that Fr. James had visited a nearby convent at around 9.30 a.m. on July 29. His two-wheeler had been found near his body. The post-mortem examination had been conducted by two forensic experts at the Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore. The cause of death had not been disclosed then pending a report by the Regional Forensic Science Laboratory, they said. When the body had been released to the parents for the funeral at Vellad here, they had requested the Revenue Divisional Officer at Thalassery and the Superintendent of Police here for another post-mortem examination. The second post-mortem had been conducted at the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital on August 1, they said.

The first post-mortem report said that though the cause of death could not be ascertained, it ruled out trauma and poisoning as a cause, they said, adding that the investigating agency had interpreted the cause of death to be cardiac arrest. The parents also said that the agency had not attempted to properly question the person who had accompanied their son.

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