Indian bishop kidnapped, released by attackers demanding money

NEW DELHI (CNS) — A Catholic bishop in southern India was kidnapped and assaulted by unknown attackers demanding money.

Bishop Prasad Gallela of Cuddapah was blindfolded, handcuffed and forcibly taken away while he was traveling home after celebrating Mass at Karunagiri Shrine April 25, reported

He said unidentified kidnappers came in two vehicles and took “me to an undisclosed location.”

“They hit me and punched me, resulting in injuries all over my body. I did not resist,” Bishop Gallela told “Police are trying to find those behind the incident.”

The bishop said the kidnappers kept asking him about the financial transactions of the diocese. They also demanded 5 million rupees (US$75,325) and said that since “I help so many people, I should help them too,” the bishop said.

“When I asked who they were, they said they are from the police,” but he added that police did not behave that way.

Early April 26, the kidnappers released the bishop, about 55 miles away from where his diocese is based.

Archbishop Thumma Bala of Hyderabad said it was “unbelievable that such a violent atrocity is perpetrated on a high-ranking religious leader of a minority community, who is totally dedicated to the service of the needy and marginalized.”

The archbishop appealed to law enforcement authorities to investigate the case thoroughly and find the culprits.

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