Believers Church, 3 others in Kerala seek ‘forward status’
Mani Vithayathil said the members of the groups, who belong to the forward communities and fulfil all economic conditions, will get benefits under the EWS.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Believers Church led by Moran Mor Athanasius Yohan Metropolitan (formerly known as K P Yohannan) has approached the government seeking its inclusion in the forward community list.
As per the documents accessed by TNIE, three other Christian groups — Church of Light Emperor Emmanuel Zion, Yuyomaya Sabha and Local Churches Kerala — too have sought the same from the Kerala State Commission for Economically Backward Classes among Forward Communities.
TNIE had earlier reported that the commission was against granting forward community tag to Christian prayer groups and Churches that have converted from Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Communities among its ranks. However, none of these groups has officially been informed about the commission’s decision.
As a statutory body, the commission headed by retired High Court Judge C N Ramachandran Nair is vested with powers to examine the request of any community for inclusion in the forward community list. The economically backward classes among forward communities, also known as economically weaker sections (EWS), have been earmarked 10% reservation in the state since 2020, which has prompted religious groups to seek forward community status.
Commission member Mani Vithayathil justified the panel’s decision and said the Christian prayer groups have members from forward and backward communities and that made it technically impossible for them to provide the group forward community tag.
‘Chances of attempts to get double quota benefits’
“The SC, ST and OBC members of any prayer group will get the reservation benefits they are entitled to. The prayer groups have members not just from the forward communities. So, there are chances of the members attempting to get double reservation benefits. We can’t allow anyone to do that,” Mani said.
Mani said the members of the groups, who belong to the forward communities and fulfil all economic conditions, will get benefits under the EWS.