KOCHI: A priest and six others were arrested on Wednesday for conducting prayers in violation of the lockdown norms for religious institutions.
According to Harbour police station officers, Augustine Palayil, the vicar of Stella Mary's church at Willingdon Island, and six others including two women who participated in the mass were booked under Section 269 (negligence likely to spread infection) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the IPC and relevant sections of the Kerala Epidemic Disease Ordinance, 2020.
"The police received an alert that holy mass had been conducted in the church under the Kochi diocese of Latin Catholic Church violating the goverment order banning religious gatherings during the lockdown. The mass was begun at 7 am on Wednesday and the police soon reached the spot. At the time, six people, four men and two women, were taking part in the prayers inside the church," said a source.
Those arrested were later released on bail.