Two cooks at St. Peter's Pontifical Seminary will also be subject to the test

Two-and-a-half months after the murder of K.J. Thomas, the 62-year-old rector of the St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary at Malleswaram here, the police have announced that they will conduct narco-analysis tests on Patrick Xavier, the priest who was asleep in the room next to the rector’s on the night of the April 1 murder.

While Fr. Patrick, the procurator at the seminary, gave his consent to the test, the police plan to subject two workers in the seminary to narco-analysis as well, a senior officer said, adding that this was one of the most “intensive investigations” being conducted in recent years.

Narco-analysis, a psychotherapeutic technique, involves administering of chemicals to induce the subject into a state of stupor, thereby making it difficult for him or her to lie. Though it cannot be presented as evidence in court, the police said it was being done as part of the investigative process that could lead them to some clues.

Following a press conference here on Wednesday, a police officer said that there were 18 persons in the seminary on the night of the murder and all of them were being questioned.

The police said Fr. Patrick and the two workers, Raja and Reddy, believed to be cooks, have been subjected to polygraph and brain-mapping tests.

Fr. Thomas was found bludgeoned to death in the coffee room in the seminary when all the 200 or so students were away on vacation. It was Fr. Patrick who called the police in the morning. He reportedly told them he had not heard anything suspicious as there had been a storm at the time. The police said attempts had been made to break into his room too.

A senior police officer said Fr. Patrick appeared before the First Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) court on Wednesday. The seminary reopened earlier this month with the vice-rector, Fr. Savarimuthu Stanislas, taking up the responsibilities as the acting rector. Many of the students too are being questioned by the police.

Interrogation

The police have questioned the victim’s family in Kerala and have formed a special team to crack the case.

Police suspect that it could be a planned murder or one that may have been committed by a wandering gang. It could be a hired gang or even a robbery attempt and therefore we are verifying all the angles, police added. A special team has also been formed to investigate further.

Meanwhile, members of the Kannada Catholic Christian Sangha said they were being harassed by the constant questioning and sought the removal of the investigating officer V.S. D’Souza.

Two cooks at the seminary will also be subject to it