March 10, 2005

Catholic Groups Condemn Priest's Arrest in India


RADHANPUR, India, MARCH 9, 2005 ( The Christians of the state of Gujarat have demanded the immediate release of a priest who was arrested Tuesday on false charges, says the Indian bishops' conference Web site.

Jesuit Father Prasad Gonsalves was arrested based on the trumped-up charges leveled against him by a middle-aged woman, Shantaben Gulabbhai, reported the episcopate Indian Catholic News Site.

The priest managed a project to build some 300 houses for homeless tribal people in Radhanpur, the heart of the arid areas of Banaskantha district in North Gujarat.

The arrest is connected with the housing project, according to a press release from Father Cedric Prakash, who runs a center for human rights in Ahmedebad.

Some time ago, Gulabbhai approached Father Gonsalves demanding that she too should have a new house in Anand, almost 300 kilometers (185 miles) away, where she also apparently lives.

Posted by kshaw at March 10, 2005 01:54 AM