KOCHI: The High Court on Friday directed the police to provide adequate protection to the vicars of the Orthodox faction to conduct services in St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church (Piravom Valiya Palli), Piravom. The Bench also directed the police to ensure that the parishioners are able to take part in services without any obstruction from clergymen and followers of the Jacobite faction.
The court issued the order on a petition filed by Fr Skaria Vattakattil and two other vicars of the Orthodox faction seeking police protection to discharge their spiritual and managerial duties based on the 1934 constitution of the Malankara Church.
The state government submitted that there would be an imminent threat to law and order if any attempt was made by the vicar or priests appointed by the Malankara Metropolitan to enter the church to conduct services. The court observed that with reference to the manner in which the police have to act and the requirements suggested by the police, it did not want to express any opinion.
“Police will have to handle the law and order situation as and when it arises taking into account the ground reality. It is not for the court to suggest as to how the police should act to prevent any untoward incident. Police will have to act within the framework of the authority vested with it in accordance with the law,” observed the court.
The state added that a majority of parishioners are followers of the Jacobite faction and it was understood that there would be stiff resistance from them against the Orthodox believers while taking forceful control of the church.