//Tension at cemetery

Tension at cemetery

PATHANAMTHITTA: A dispute between the Jacobite and Orthodox factions of the Malankara Church over the burial of a 62-year-old woman at the St. George Orthodox church cemetery at Kattappuram near Thiruvalla led to tension in the town on Sunday. Both the factions bury their dead at the Orthodox church cemetery.

The tension erupted when the body of Lillikutty (62) of Azhiyidathuchira Thachedathu, a member of the St. George Jacobite chapel at Kavumbhagom, was brought to the cemetery for burial on Sunday afternoon, after remitting Rs.1,250 towards the fee prescribed for the same.

However, the Orthodox church authorities objected to the burial, demanding the recently revised fee of Rs.5,000. The Jacobite faction declined to remit the revised fee on the plea that it had remitted the fee of Rs.1,250 in line with a High Court order in this regard.

Following talks held between the two factions in the presence of the district authorities, the Jacobite faction agreed to pay the fee of Rs.5000. They handed over the fee to the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) and the body was buried in the cemetery later. One priest from each faction were allowed entry into the cemetery to conduct the funeral rites.

District Collector A.J. Rajan, District Superintendent of Police (SP) T.K. Rajagopal, RDO N. Govindan Namboodiri and the Deputy SP Philipose Abraham camped at the church till the issue was resolved. The body had been kept at the Jacobite chapel till the issue was resolved.