Cross destroyed in Kerala, Church delegation meets CM

August 21, 2017 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india

Thiruvananthapuram, August 21, 2017: Some 1500 Catholics gathered on Aug 20 to protest against the demolition of a cross that stood at a pilgrim spot in the forest area near Bonacaud tea estate in Vithura.

The concrete cross belonging to the Latin Catholic Church at Bonacaud of the Neyyatinkara diocese is believed to have been destroyed on Aug 18 night by some anti-social elements.

The forest officials are yet to solve the mystery behind the demolition of the cross.

The officials restrained the protesters who tried entering the spot on Sunday to offer prayers. However, after the tehsildar intervened, the forest officers allowed the group to enter the area in batches.

Vicar general of the diocese Fr Christudas said that the agitation will continue till a new cross is installed at the spot.

Later, a delegation from the Neyyatinkara diocese met Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The CM assured them that those who have destroyed the cross will be brought to book and reinstallation of the cross will be considered favourably.

The delegation also demanded withdrawal of a case against some priests for allegedly trespassing into the forest area. They also sought security measures to prevent such incidents in the future.

According to the Neyyatinkara diocese, a wooden cross was erected atop a hill in the region about 60 years ago. The demolished concrete cross was erected in its place a year ago.

Recently, the believers had attempted to install new crosses on the way. The move was opposed by a group of people who claimed to be BJP workers, according to a report in The New India Express.

Some believers accused the officials of the Paruthippally forest range of destroying the cross. The officials were under the threat of disciplinary action, including suspension, as the department authorities held them responsible for the construction of concrete structures in the forest land.

The officials concerned have denied the allegation though they had plans to remove the 24 feet-tall concrete structure from the spot as they stood on forest land and was considered as an act of encroachment, reports Times of India.

The forest department is conducting a probe of their own without seeking the help of the police.

– the news minute

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