PATHANAMTHITTA: Coming to know about the hartal organised on Friday by the Bharatiya Janata Party in protest against the increase in fuel prices, the Bishop cancelled all his trips outside the taluk and decided to ride pillion on a scooter for travelling within Thiruvalla town.
The car could not brought out owing to the protest, and since it was a busy day for him, as he will be installed the first Thiruvalla Archbishop of Syro-Malankara Church on Saturday, he decided to take the two-wheeler ride.
When people saw Isaac Mar Cleemis, in a white cassock and wearing a Masanapsa (headgear dotted with 13 Cross marks), whizzing by on the scooter of Mathew Punnakulam, priest, on the State Highway, they were taken by surprise.
Not many could identify him, though. Fr. Punnakulam is the programme committee chairman of the installation ceremony.
The trip was to an old-age home in the suburbs to seek the blessings of the senior Bishop Geevarghese Mar Themotheos in the forenoon, when the entire town was in the grip of hartal.
Even the police official on duty at the traffic island could identify him.
He came to know about the Bishop's `risky' two-wheeler trip through the deserted highway a little late.
He was found rushing through the streets seeking the whereabouts of the Bishop when a group of hartal supporters were sighted in the town, forcing petty-shop owners to down their shutters.
A similar incident reportedly happened in Thiruvananthapuram several years ago when the late Chithira Thirunal, erstwhile king of Travancore, hiring an autorickshaw for his regular worship at Sree Padmanabha Temple in the city when his car developed a snag en route.