In Kerala, woman given burial after 31-day ordeal

75-year-old Annamma was buried in a concrete vault

Updated - June 14, 2019 09:27 am IST

Published - June 13, 2019 09:01 pm IST - KOLLAM

Photo for representation.

Photo for representation.

Annamma can finally rest in peace as the body of the 75-year-old, that has been kept in a morgue at Sasthamkotta since May 15, was finally buried here on Thursday.

Her body was buried in a concrete vault in Jerusalem cemetery at Thuruthikkara in Puthoor amidst threats and protests, ending a 31-day-long ordeal for the family. The funeral took place in the presence of police and revenue officials as the residents launched a protest, some of them threatening to commit suicide.

Annamma, a Dalit Christian who belongs to Jerusalem Mar Thoma Church at Thuruthikkara, died on May 14 due to age-related ailments. But the church authorities refused to bury her body in the cemetery citing a court order prohibiting burials to prevent contamination of nearby water sources.

The parish has only 28 families who have been using the cemetery for many years. Some four years back, the residents approached a court opposing the burials and later the bodies of the parishioners were taken to another cemetery under the Mar Thoma Church. But this church also denied permission to the family of Annamma, pointing out lack of space as the reason.

Later, a High Court order approved burial after the construction of a concrete vault, but the family was asked to wait for over 20 days, the time needed for the concrete to set. The construction started in the presence of officials from the district administration, Public Works Department supervising the process. The completion certificate was issued after the stipulated time, finally allowing the family to conduct the funeral.

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