New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said that Australian Police have arrested the attacker of the Indian priest, who was stabbed in Melbourne, and charged him with attempt to murder.
“Our Consulate officials met Father Mathew in the hospital. The police have arrested the attacker and charged him with attempt to murder,” Sushma Swaraj said in a tweet on Monday.
“Our Consulate is in touch with the police authorities and will keep us informed of the progress of the case,” she tweeted.
Father Mathew, a Catholic priest from Kerala, was attacked by an Italian on Sunday when the former was leading the Sunday mass in a Melbourne church.
According to a report in the Herald Sun, Reverend Tomy Kalathoor Mathew was just about to begin his 11am mass when an attacker shouted “You are Indian, a Hindu or Muslim, you cannot say mass… I will kill you!” and stabbed him in the neck.
“The priest, Tomy Mathew, was stabbed in the neck with a kitchen knife by the Italian during the mass at a Catholic church in Melbourne suburbs,” said Thiruvallom Bhasi, editor of a Melbourne daily who is currently visiting Melbourne.
He was immediately rushed to the hospital.
Mathew, 48, is a native of Anakkampoyil in Kozhikode district, reported The Times of India.
Speaking on the reason for attack, the minister said: “The attacker had a problem with Father Mathew presiding over the church.”