Court Indian state of Goa has instructed police to register the death of Priest i

A court in the western Indian state of Goa has instructed police to register the death of an activist and former priest as murder and investigate the crime, more than a year after he was found drowned.Former Blessed Sacrament Father Bismarque Dias' body was fished out of the Mandovi River Nov. 7, 2015, two days after he was reported missing. He left the priesthood three years before his death to contest state elections in Goa.

The Goa bench of the Bombay High Court told state police April 11 to investigate the death of the priest, who was spearheading a campaign against several controversial land projects.

Although police dismissed it as an accident, friends and family suspected foul play and demanded an investigation. They refused to bury the priest and his body remains in a morgue.

The High Court's directive followed a petition filed by the dead activist's brother Mario Dias calling for the case to be investigated by a top agency such as the federal Central Bureau of Investigation.

Sudip Dalvi, a supporter of Father Dias' family called the court directive a "victory for Bismarque's family, disciples, followers."

"It is a slap for those hurrying to bury the case under the guise of an accidental death," he said.