Clash over parish administration sparks tension at MM CSI Church

Chaos ensued as ex-secretary emerged with an order stating the incumbent bishop should leave.
Protesters belonging to the official and dissident factions staging protest claiming administration powers in front of the Mateer Memorial CSI Church
Protesters belonging to the official and dissident factions staging protest claiming administration powers in front of the Mateer Memorial CSI Church Photo | Express

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : High drama prevailed in front of Mateer Memorial CSI Church at LMS Junction, Thiruvananthapuram, on Thursday evening when two sections of parishioners were engaged in a protest over church administration.

Trouble started when former administrative secretary T T Praveen entered the church premises with a court order stating that Manoj Kumar Royce Victor, the incumbent Bishop, was asked to leave the church.

This led the dissidents who supported former CSI moderator and Bishop A Dharmaraj Rasalam and supporters of the incumbent bishop shouting slogans against each other. A huge posse of police from Museum Station rushed to the spot. Praveen ousted the incumbent bishop from his office which saw him getting into his car and deciding to leave the church. But a group of enraged followers urged him to continue there. Praveen claimed that Rasalam has managed to get a verdict in favour of him to continue as CSI Bishop from the Supreme Court. But those favouring Manoj Kumar Royce maintained that there was no such verdict from the Supreme Court.

Museum Police sub-Inspector Aneez told TNIE that Thiruvananthapuram sub-collector Ashwathy Srinivas has been asked by the state government to hold talks with the protesters.

“Both sides are firm in their stand that they will not leave until the state government intervenes in the issue. They have been shouting slogans against each other. A huge posse of police is stationed here. We are hoping that the impasse will end once the sub-collector reaches the protest venue and holds discussions with the protesters,” said a police official.

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