ALAPPUZHA: The District Collector has imposed Section 144 under the IPC at Kattachira near Kayamkulam after the clash between the Jacobite and Orthodox factions over the ownership of St Mary’s Church on Saturday. Kurathikad SI Vipin Nath said the Collector declared Section 144 after both factions gathered near the premises of the church.
“The Orthodox faction reached the church to conduct Holy Mass with the order of the Supreme Court. However, the Jacobite faction had entered the church early to celebrate Mass and they stood inside. So, the police prevented the Orthodox faction near the church and it led to an altercation with police.
The traffic on the Kayamkulam-Punalur Road was blocked for more than two hours after the Orthodox priests and devotes stayed on the road. Later, the district collector-in-charge N Padmakumar discussed the issues with the priests of the Orthodox faction and agreed to arrange a consensus meeting in the afternoon. The devotees moved away from the road after that,” the SI said.
The church is under the Jacobite faction for the past many decades. However, the SC had issued an order favouring the Orthodox faction. Based on the judgment, the Orthodox faction demanded ownership of the church, which the Jacobite faction was not ready to hand over. It led to the clash, police said.