Thursday, June 13, 2024

Missing priest visited PCOs from where SMS sent, say owners


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Special investigative team visits North Bengal

From Our Correspondent

 TURA: The case of the Salesian Rector of Don Bosco College, Tura, who went missing from the Rajdhani express train in North Bengal on October 27 has gotten more bizarre with two PCO owners who were interrogated by a special investigative team alleging that the priest had visited their PCOs, from where the mysterious SMS were sent to the Salesian congregation in Tura.

Following the high profile disappearance of Fr Francis Fernandez the North-East Frontier (NF) Railways authorities constituted a special team of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) under Superintendent of Police Railways Rana Bhuyan to get to the bottom of the matter.

Sources from Assam police and NF Railways in Guwahati have informed that the team left for Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri railway stations on Saturday itself.

They managed to locate the two public call booths (PCOs) near the station from where two separate messages were sent to the Rector’s colleagues by a mysterious man.

During separate interrogation of the two owners it was found that their description of the man who sent the message was allegedly similar to the identity of the missing priest.

When the photo of Fr Fernandez was shown to them they both acknowledged his visit to their phone booth.

Both the PCOs are reportedly not far from the site where the personal belongings of Fr Fernandez were found in a garbage bin.

The police have now decided to obtain the Call Detail Records (CDR) of the missing phone of Fr Fernandez to find out who was in contact with him prior to the disappearance. They have also located the other passengers who were in the same compartment of the train with the missing priest. “The team will be visiting the other passengers to get a detailed picture of the sequence of events because there appears to be discrepancies in the unfolding of events,” said a police official from Guwahati.

It is not known if the priest was forced into sending the mysterious messages of sudden illness and death by someone stalking him, or the two PCO owners were working in tandem to throw the investigation out of focus and whether there is more than that meets the eye.

The investigation team is also probing the style in which the false SMS was sent. The first SMS is of particular interest over the manner in which an attempt was deliberately made to project the sender as an illiterate person. The SMS below is the same dispatched from one of the two PCOs.

Mysterious SMS: Mr francees hospital kisanjanj serios stamak pain. No moni 4 oparashun. Pasanger from there colekt moni. Late. Apendix fut. He dead. He tak body 4 burn. I pasanjer and he gave yur no 4 emergency. I sory he dead. Good man. I from bilege. No phon. (SMS ends)


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