KOCHI: The state government on Wednesday informed the High Court that lives of a large number of men, women and children, who are blindly holding to their faith, might be lost if the Supreme Court verdict in favour of the Orthodox Church faction is forcibly implemented.
According to the government, since the church is a holy place, the police wanted to avoid firing, use of teargas or such other methods for implementing the verdict
The submission was made in response to a petition by Fr Thomas Paul Ramban, Orthodox faction vicar of Mar Thoma Cheriyapalli, Kothamangalam, seeking to invoke the provisions of the Kerala Police Act to facilitate the implementation of the Supreme Court verdict. The government said the believers belonging to the Jacobite Church faction should be convinced by persuasion to accept their failure to win the litigation and the authorities are bound to implement the judgment in favour of the Orthodox faction.
The police have been advising the petitioner as well as the church authorities with the assistance of respectable persons of the society to encourage individuals or groups involved to settle the dispute through mutual discussions or mediation.
The petitioner himself had withdrawn and returned after his attempt to forcibly enter the church failed due to the violent acts by members of the Jacobite faction, the government said.
High Court closes review petition
The High Court closed a petition seeking to review an interim order which recorded the submission of the government that the status quo with respect to the holy relics of Saint Yeldo Mar Baselios, known as Kothamangalam Bava, kept in the altar of Kothamangalam church would be maintained. In the petition, Fr Thomas Paul Ramban submitted that the submission of the government was wrong and the relics had been taken away. However, when the petition came up for hearing, the government informed the court that nothing had happened to the relics.
‘They will have to tread on our corpses’
Kochi: With Jacobite faithful digging in their heels —they have been holding a vigil at St Mary’s Syrian Cathedral in Piravom for over 24 hours since Tuesday evening —the seemingly intractable dispute between Jacobite and Orthodox believers appears to be heading towards a flashpoint. The Jacobite faithful, including several elderly women, vowed not to move out from the church premises and said if the Orthodox members are allowed entry, the latter will be able to do so only after treading on their corpses.
“The Orthodox faction will have to go through our dead bodies to enter our church. We are not willing to give away our church in which our forefathers are buried,” said Sini Simon, a member belonging to the Jacobite faction. Prayers and slogans were raised by over 500 parishioners at the church gate preventing the Orthodox faction’s entry.