In a shocking incident, a 36-year-old assistant parish priest and the principal of the Don Bosco School in Udupi district’s Shirva was found dead in his official chambers on Friday night. The principal was identified as Mahesh D’Souza and the police investigating the case have stated that they have not found any suicide note during a preliminary search of his room and his belongings.
On Friday night, Father Ashwin Aranha had gone to meet Mahesh at his official chambers.
“Since, the residence of the priest and the principal’s chambers were close-by, the priests routinely met to discuss to administrative activities of the institution,” Ashwin reportedly told the police.
Ashwin added in his statement that he when he entered the principal’s chamber at the school premises, he found Mahesh’s body. The priest, along with the staff, alerted the police — who, along with first responders retrieved the body — and ferried it to the local government hospital.
According to Udupi Diocese, Mahesh D’Souza hailed from Moodubelle and was ordained as a priest in 2013. Formerly, he served as the assistant parish priest at Milagres Mount Rosary Church in Kallianpur. It was in 2016, that Mahesh D’Souza was posted at Shirva as an assistant parish priest and the Principal of the Don Bosco School Shirva.
Citing the statement by Udupi Diocese, police said that since the senior parish priest was travelling abroad, Mahesh and Ashwin were assigned the responsibility of managing the day-to-day administrative affairs of the parish as well as the school.
A local parishioner confided that it was still unclear what could have driven the priest to take the extreme step. “Throughout the day, he fulfilled his daily duties, attended a training program and was part of the discussion related to Church, before leaving to his chamber,” he said.
The investigators added that prima-facies a case of unnatural death has been registered at Shirva police station. “We have not recovered any suicide note. Based on the post-mortem report, we can confirm the exact nature of death and continue the investigation,” police said.
Story by Story Infinity (Subs and Scribes Media Ventures LLP.)