Murder case in Raiwind diocese disputed the status of Bishop of Peshawar. By Khalid Mansoor Soomro


Mardan: The sad incident in Raiwind Diocese of the Church of Pakistan, in which deceased Mrs. Khalida Gill w/o Dr. Raja Nathaniel Gill (former Legal Advisor of the Raiwind Diocese) was allegedly shoot by the men of Bishop Samuel Robert Azraiah of Raiwind Diocese, has disputed the status of Bishop of Peshawar Diocese due to his two living wives. The deceased Mrs. Khalida Gill lodged an FIR against Bishop Azraiah and his men for attempt to murder u/s 324 PPC registered at Raiwind City Police Station vide crime no. 152/06, which was modified on Friday, 28th April into a murder case u/s 302, when she succumbed to injuries in Jinnah Hospital, Lahore . Lately, the supporters of Bishop Azraiah, who is presently on pre-arrest interim bail, have circulated a statement from the Communication Desk of Raiwind Diocese, in which the above said murder case has been justified by an argument that Dr. Raja Nathaniel Gill had two living wives; whereas the supporters of Dr. Raja Nathaniel Gill on the statement issued from Raiwind Diocesan have started criticizing the legitimacy of Bishop Mano Romal Shah, who is presently serving as the Bishop of Peshawar Diocese with two living wives. At the same time the supporters of Dr. Raja Nathaniel Gill and some responsible functionaries of Raiwind Diocese have decided to hold a Press Conference at Lahore Press Club, in which they would public the evidential proofs regarding the involvement of Bishop Azraiah in illegal sale of Church properties vested in Executive Board of Methodist Church in Pakistan. This situation in the Church of Pakistan has once again increased strife in members and presently there is nobody who could help the poor Church resolving these crises amicably; currently Bishop Samuel Robert Azraiah is charged in murder case while Sadiq Daniel of Karachi is charged in cases of outrage of modesty and illegal sales of Church properties and there is likelihood that in near future more criminal cases with regards to the fraudulent sales of church properties and criminal actions of bishops will be registered by the Police Officials against the present leadership of the Church of Pakistan. On the other hand the recent incident in Raiwind Diocese has once again raised doubts regarding the legitimacy of Bishop Mano Romal Shah (who is already involved in complex litigation for the reasons that he resigned the episcopacy of Peshawar to join USPG and after working 5 years for USPG has re-claimed the episcopacy he resigned) due to the unjustifiable plea of Bishop Azraiah group regarding the marital status of Dr. Raja Nathaniel Gill, the members of the Peshawar Diocese and the Muhafiz-e-Kalisia (NWFP) have taken the issue of Bishop Mano Romal Shah`s status as being a valid Bishop into consideration, due to his two living wives.

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