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Bhopal bishop questioned by police: The Church of England Newspaper, July 22, 2012 July 22, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of North India, Corruption.
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The Bishop of the Church of North India’s Diocese of Jabalpur has been questioned by police in Bhopal in connection with the abduction and beating of a church school headmaster.

On 3 July 2012, Mr. Ladley Matthew, the headmaster of Christ Church Boys School in Jabalpur was walking to the home of a friend following a meeting of the school’s governors when he was abducted by three men.  Forced into a car, Mr. Matthew was taken to an undisclosed location and beaten.  His captors took a number of documents pertaining to the management of the school and the diocese’s finances and then released the schoolmaster.

Mr. Matthew made his way to a police station and reported the incident.  A police inspector confirmed to the Times of India that the Rt. Rev. B.P. Singh, Bishop in Jabalpur was contacted by the police and asked to appear to give a statement in the matter.  The bishop has subsequently denied any involvement in the attack.

Founded in 1870 to educate Europeans and Anglo-Indians, Christ Church Boys School has approximately 3000 students and is reputed to be the most prestigious private school in the Indian state of state of Madhya Pradesh.  The school retains close connections with the Anglicanism as it holds regular chapel services and the chairman of the board of governors is the Bishop of Jabalpur.

In recent years, however, disputes over financial contributions from the school to the diocese and accusations of the sale of admissions by church leaders have soured relations between the school and the bishop.  Mr. Matthew has leveled charges of corruption against Bishop Singh while the bishop has pressed for Mr. Matthew to step down.

Investigations into the abduction and the charges of financial irregularities are on going.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.