//A.T. Thomas: Liberator of the Oppressed and Exploited

A.T. Thomas: Liberator of the Oppressed and Exploited

Fr. A.T. Thomas received martyrdom on 24th October 1997. It is 23 years since his martyrdom. In 1996 he went to Manila, taking two years break from Dalit apostolate, to do his study.  I was appointed in-charge of Patra Dalit Centre. In 1997, AT returned to do field research for his thesis. He came to Patra and we were together for two days. On the 3rd day (24th October 1997) which was a Friday, after the Eucharist and breakfast we came together to Rajahar Hostel which is a facility for Dalit children. There I got a message that there was a medical emergency for a Dalit woman whom I got admitted in Columbus Hospital, Hazaribagh. I rushed to Hazaribagh to attend to the emergency, and AT went to Sirka Village. It was from there that AT was abducted by a Maoist group who were conducting a meeting. He was tortured and beheaded in Sirka forest. I was the last Jesuit AT talked to before his martyrdom.  

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The author is currently the superior of St. Xavier’s Community, Hazaribagh and Asst. Province Treasurer.