The Diocese of Mangalore (Karnataka) has condemned the attack on 20 October against Fr Michael Santhumayor, campus administrator of Milagres College.
Mohammed Shahnavaz, a third-year student in Business administration,
assaulted the priest because he had reprimanded him for his absence from
many college lectures.
Church leaders in the diocese as well as faculty and students
presented a memorandum to the police station, expressing their
solidarity with the priest and concern over the act of violence.
assailant was tracked down thanks to CCTV footage, and was taken into
After the assault, Fr Santhumayor was admitted to a private hospital in Valencia (Mangalore).
The memorandum of the diocese and university administration was given
to Police Commissioner M. Chandra Sekhar. The statement describes the
attack against the priest, who has worked in education for more than ten
CCTV footage shows Mohammed Shahnawaz waiting for the principal to be
alone, before hitting him hard as the latter made his way to lunch.
Afterward he fled with the help of some friends.
College teachers noted that the student has a past of violence and
misconduct, including the destruction of the attendance registry. In
fact, the clergyman’s warning that his failure to attend classes could
mean that he would not be allowed to take final exams prompted the
Following the step taken by the diocese, led by Bishop Aloysius Paul
D'Souza, the police set up three search teams. Police Commissioner
Sekhar also alerted the college and staff to monitor acts of violence
and anyone involved in such behaviour in order to prevent future
At the same time, teachers, parents' associations and students
demonstrated in front of the office of the deputy commissioner,
demanding greater protection and security.