Daijiworld Media Network – Udupi
Editor’s note: The unnatural death of Fr Mahesh D’Souza was shocking and unfortunate. The events that happened in the aftermath of his death were also equally shocking. Daijiworld as responsible media carried a series of articles on this matter. A few readers questioned the authenticity of our reports, and accused us of being ‘biased’. We accept the criticism in the right spirit. Unfortunately, we could not make everyone happy. But we have been constantly urged by thousands of our readers from all over the world for a conclusive report so as to put an end to the speculations regarding the exact reason behind Fr Mahesh’s death. Perhaps, for the first time in the history of Daijiworld, a death case has attracted this level of curiosity. To answer everyone’s questions, we have decided to publish articles in series, without taking any sides and only based on the FINAL report submitted by the investigation officer to the court. Daijiworld has no personal interest in this report, but as media we need to cater to the needs of our readers who have been following the case closely right from day one of Fr Mahesh’s death and entreating us to publish a detailed report.
Udupi, Mar 20: Over five months after the death of Fr Mahesh D’Souza, former principal of Don Bosco School, Shirva, the final investigation report submitted by investigation officer and Kaup circle inspector Mahesh Prasad, who is widely respected as an upright officer in the department, has revealed some hitherto unknown sides of Fr Mahesh D’Souza and brought an end to the several speculations and rumours spread across the world among the community members and others.
The 200-plus page final investigation report on the unnatural death, a copy of which is in possession of Daijiworld through Right-to-Information (RTI) Act, mentions detailed statements by over 95 witnesses including bishops, priests, entrepreneurs, family members and friends of Fr Mahesh as well as other related persons.
After his death, four mobile phones belonging to Fr Mahesh had been confiscated, and it was revealed that Fr Mahesh had tried to commit suicide at least three times in the past. He was asked to leave the seminary in 1999 by SVD congregation in Kirem as he was habitually spending excessively and borrowing money from others. He later joined the diocesan seminary, but in 2007 he was asked to correct his behaviour and lifestyle, and sent away to pursue BEd. It is reported that he changed his behaviour, and rejoined the seminary again in 2009 with a much-improved attitude and renewed commitment.
Nevertheless, the post-death investigation reveals shocking transcripts of his chats with five different women, including a non-Christian married woman, from 2015 to until his last day. The chat content is explosive, highly unbecoming of a priest, according to the report.
The report gives clean chit to Shirva parish priest, assistant parish priest and a former teacher of Don Bosco school who was suspected to have written an anonymous letter to Fr Mahesh’s parents, Bishop and all the priests laying the blame on the character of the deceased priest.
In one instance, the investigation report reveals that there were financial irregularities as Fr Mahesh collected donations from 9 different people for the school building but never deposited the money in the school’s account, and instead credited it to his personal account in a Shirva bank.
There are several mentions of hospitalisation of Fr Mahesh due to various reasons. In fact, he had voluntarily joined Naturopathy therapy at the Ayurveda centre in Dharmasthala to lose weight.
According to the post-mortem report: “Deceased died due to asphyxia as a result of the constriction of neck structures by a ligature.”
The RFSL report says: “…Analyses have not responded for the presence of residues of ethyl alcohol, volatile poisons, pesticides, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, toxis metal ions and anions in all above-stated articles.”
The investigation report on the post-mortem further clears doubts as to how the priest’s legs were touching the ground, and the position of the rope across the neck.
”The death occurred at least 8-14 hours before the post-mortem, there was no single clue of resistance by the deceased. There were no perligature marks on the body, so it is concluded that the death occurred due to suicide,” states the report.
During the investigation, a few witnesses had alleged that Fr Mahesh did not share a cordial relationship with the parish priest, however, the majority of witnesses stated that there were not many problems between them. An NRI entrepreneur who was also one of the witnesses stated that Fr Mahesh and the parish priest had visited his house to discuss some plans relating to the school. On October 7, 2019, they came together and actively participated in the discussion and both looked jovial. Fr Mahesh drove the car. Moreover, the parish priest who was in Kuwait at the time of Fr Mahesh’s death, exchanged cordial chats on WhatsApp a few minutes before the suicide and also exchanged a photo of a programme in Kuwait and of a programme that took place during the daytime in Don Bosco School.
It may be recalled that Mudarangady gram panchayat president David D’Souza has been arrested in the case on charges of instigating Fr Mahesh to commit suicide. The report and chat transcripts mention that Fr Mahesh and a lady named Priya had a close relationship. David had warned the priest at least three times in the past. Angered that Fr Mahesh had ignored his warning, David reportedly threatened to disclose his alleged misdeeds to the public by ringing the church bell. David is still in judicial custody, and has reportedly applied for bail through the high court.
More details to be published in the next part.
Udupi: Fr Mahesh suicide – Police file suo-moto case, arrest David D’Souza
Udupi: Fr Mahesh D’Souza death case – Kaup circle inspector to take charge of investigation\
Udupi: Fr Mahesh D’Souza death case – Protesters submit petition to police
Udupi: Family of Fr Mahesh D’Souza issues press statement
Crucial revelation: Fr Mahesh suicide – Video evidence, threat and ‘pure personal reason’
Fr Mahesh D’Souza death case – Protest again on Nov 5 demanding probe
Udupi: Police issue statement on Fr Mahesh D’Souza death case
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Udupi: Suicide case of Fr Mahesh D’Souza and plight of three youngsters
Udupi: Twist to Fr Mahesh suicide case as significant details emerge
Fr Mahesh D’Souza laid to rest – Thousands attend funeral
Udupi: What made Fr Mahesh D’Souza to take drastic step?
Udupi: Shocking- Shirva asst parish priest Fr Mahesh Dsouza (36) commits suicide