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Priest, 23 others arrested for flouting COVID-19 protocols by conducting prayers at Kerala church

According to Chengamanad police station officers, Fr George Palamattam, vicar of St Joseph’s Church at Poovathuserry,  and 23 others who participated in the mass as part of the holy communion.

Published: 31st May 2021 01:44 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st June 2021 01:53 AM   |  A+A-

arrest, handcuffs, crime

He was later released on bail (Express Illustrations | Amit Bandre)

By Express News Service

KOCHI:  A Catholic priest and 23 others were arrested on Monday for conducting prayers in violation of the lockdown norms at Poovathuserry near Nedumbassery in the district.

According to Chengamanad police station officers, Fr George Palamattam, vicar of St Joseph’s Church at Poovathuserry,  and 23 others who participated in the mass as part of the holy communion of three children were arrested under the relevant sections of the Kerala Epidemic Disease Ordinance, 2020.

“Ernakulam Rural SP K Karthick received an alert that the mass was being conducted in the church violating the government order banning religious gatherings during the lockdown. The mass began at 7 am on Monday and the police soon reached the spot,” said an officer.

The parents of the three children had assembled at the church. Some of them had come from abroad to attend the function and wanted to return as their leave period was about to end.

The religious function was postponed twice earlier due to the lockdown restrictions and it was organised on Monday, said sources close to the church. 



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