Failure to implement court orders alleged; sit-in by 30 bishops and 100 clergymen inaugurated

Bishops and clergymen from the Jacobite group of the Malankara Church on Monday took to the streets here in protest against what they termed police atrocities on them, indifference of the State government to their demands, and failure to reopen churches that were closed to them.

Jacobite Episcopal Synod secretary Joseph Mor Gregorios inaugurating a sit-in by nearly 30 bishops and over a hundred clergymen from across the State.

The government’s approach to the issue was biased and it was up to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to prove that he was not influenced by the ‘machinations’ of the Orthodox group to which Mr. Chandy belonged, Mor Gregorios said.

The Jacobite faction, he said, had secured court orders in favour of them but the government, instead of ensuring the implementation of these orders, was acting in a biased manner.

The recent police action on Jacobites, including women and children at several places in the State, making even a funeral a riot spot, was proof of this, he said.

The churches that were closed following disputes between the two groups should be opened to Jacobites, he said, pointing out that the government, if it had the will to ensure the rule of law, could actually settle the issue in 24 hours.

However, the discussions held with the government were far from satisfactory, he said.

The group’s Central Europe Metropolitan Kuriakose Mor Theophilose and others also addressed the protest. Prominent persons of the group, who said their stance had received support from the Catholic Church, the Indian Union Muslim League, the Nair Service Society, and the SNDP added that they were open to discussions with any of these groups as mediators as well.

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