The day-long motor vehicle strike called by trade unions in protest against the rising petrol and diesel prices got a fillip in the district when the Church of South India (CSI) extended its open support to the agitation.
Walking down College Road from his Bishop’s House at Chalukunnu to the venue of a Church convention nearly a kilometre away at Baker Junction, CSI Moderator Bishop Thomas Oommen said the Church was joining the common man in the protest. “This is not for those who travel in limousines but for the common people who are burdened by the price rise which has resulted in an all-round rise in prices of all commodities,” said Bishop Oommen.
The bishop was was accompanied by his wife Susan Thomas and office-bearers of the Madhya Kerala Diocese of the CSI. “Governments have many options before them to arrest the price rise. But they have turned a blind eye to them. The general price rise and the hike in bus fares were affecting the common people,” the bishop said and added that his protest represented the protest of over 4.5 million members of his Church.
The bishop had earlier issued a directive to the members of his church not to use vehicles on Wednesday. Obeying his call, those who participated in the convention arrived on foot or bicycle and the gates to the convention centre remained closed blocking anyone from venturing into the centre on a motor vehicle.