Published on: 8:59 pm, May 18, 2016 Story By: Matters India Reporter
New Delhi: The fallout of a bishop’s kidnap and subsequent arrests of three priests in India has been felt as far as in Ireland.
A charity shop used by one the arrested priests for fund raising in Schull, a town in County Cork, Ireland, was closed mid May.
A sign, posted on the door of Fr Raja’s Charity Shop, informs customers that it would remain closed and that fundraising has been suspended “until the conclusion of the investigations into the alleged malpractice in India,” reports southernstar.ie.
The charity shop was set up by Fr Raja Reddy, who was arrested in southern India after he allegedly joined 14 others to kidnap Bishop Prasad Gallela of Cuddapah.
Fr Reddy had reportedly tried to become the diocesan procurator.
Bishop Gallela and his driver were kidnapped on April 25 at a village called Nagasanepalle. He was beaten, blindfolded and a demand for US$75,000 was issued.
His assailants reportedly took away a bag belonging to the bishop containing a small amount of cash, three ATM cards, a silver chain with the bishop’s holy cross, and his iPhone. The 54-year-old prelate sustained injuries during the incident.
Police officials told journalists that it was a case of kidnapping for ransom, theft, attempted murder, causing hurt and mischief and criminal conspiracy. The accused left the bishop and his driver on a highway at about 2am on April 26, after the bishop agreed to pay roughly US$30,000 for their freedom.
The bishop then lodged a complaint with the police on April 27, saying that the incident had to do with the fallout from recent transfers of pastors working in the diocese.
Fr Reddy, charged with being the central figure in the case, manages an institution called ‘My Daddy Home’ in India, which houses an international school and college.
Prior to this incident, he was considered a friend of the bishop, recently presenting the prelate with an expensive Innova car on his birthday.
One volunteer who helped Fr Raja set up the Schull charity shop and travelled to India to see the work of the Foundation there, has since snapped ties with the Foundation, citing local concerns including the lack of engagement with local community groups and the local diocese.
Fr Reddy has previously visited Schull to talk about the work of his Foundation.