Kerala

Jacobite-Orthodox stand-off continues at Kothamangalam Marthoman church

Ramban Thomas Paul of the Orthodox faction remains in his car for nearly 24 hours now after the Jacobite faction blocked his entry into the Marthoman Cheriapally, Kothamangalam

Ramban Thomas Paul of the Orthodox faction remains in his car for nearly 24 hours now after the Jacobite faction blocked his entry into the Marthoman Cheriapally, Kothamangalam   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Fr. Thomas Paul remains in his car for nearly 24 hours

The stand-off between the Jacobite and the Orthodox factions of the Malankara Syrian Church over allowing Ramban Thomas Paul of the Orthodox faction entry into the Marthoman Cheriapally at Kothamangalam, continued for the second day running on Friday even as the Ramban (priest) continues to stay put inside the car parked in front of the church for nearly 24 hours now.

After being initially turned away by the police following stiff opposition from Jacobite faction members to an attempt to facilitate his entry on Thursday morning, Fr. Paul, armed with a High Court order allowing his entry into the church, had returned around 2.30 p.m. Since then he had been sitting inside his car.

“Despite having a court order I have been forced to remain out while those violating the court order are having a free run inside. Either police should facilitate my entry into the church as per the court order or they should give me in writing to return. Till then I will remain here,” Fr. Paul told The Hindu over phone from his car.

However, Jacobite faction remains equally adamant on not permitting the priest inside and have mobilised supporters in large numbers to resist any such attempt.

Fr. Paul said that he has not had food or attended to the call of nature. With the car running short of fuel, the engine has been switched off, forcing him to keep the car doors open.

Around 200 police officials have been deployed in front of the church. After the initial effort, police has adopted a wait and watch approach with reports doing rounds that the matter may come up before the court again on Friday afternoon.

“Unlike yesterday, things are far more peaceful today though the stand-off continues. We have mobilised police force from Muvattupuzha, Perumbavur and Aluva sub divisions,” said K. Bijumon, DySP, Muvattupuzha, under whose leadership the police force has been deployed. The police contingent comprises of six circle inspectors and 14 sub inspectors.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 9:16:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/jacobite-orthodox-stand-off-continues-at-kothamangalam-marthoman-church/article25797373.ece

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