The CSF Protests attempt to grab church’s land in Mumbai

March 7, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount perched atop Mount Mary owns a few properties around the shrine.

Mount Mary's ChurchMumbai, March 05, 2013: A police case has been filed against a man for trying to grab a plot belonging to a Catholic Church in Bandra in Mumbai.

Officials of the Mount Mary Church said the 1,355 square metre barren plot was in its possession for close to four decades. The land has a development potential of around 1000 million rupees.

“We purchased the property by registered conveyance deeds in the early 1970s. We have our own gates and locks since 1972,” said vice rector Aniceto Pereira.

The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount perched atop Mount Mary owns a few properties around the shrine.

On Feb 18, officials said Robin Gonsalves and a builder’s representative trespassed the property north of the presbytery building Marianella and placed two security guards.

A week later, Gonsalves put up a board on the wall, stating he was in possession of the property.

“Attempts to file an FIR against him for the blatant trespass were unsuccessful until the next day when considerable pressure had to be exerted to lodge it,” a church official said.

The Bandra police confirmed a complaint was filed but refused to provide details.

Gonsalves broke open the gates of the Basilica compound, brought in construction material and parked a car on February 27, the complaint said.

When the complaint was made, they took away the guards.

“On March 2, after a great struggle, the police towed away the car. But the building material is still there,” said Pereira.

For over a century, the Mount Mary Basilica has been a pilgrimage for hundreds and thousands of people every year.

In 2004, the present church edifice marked its centenary.

It is one of the five leading Marian shrines in the world in terms of the number of pilgrims it attracts.

– times of india

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