Thiruvanathapuram: Scores were injured at Bonacaud, around 50 kms from here, in clashes between police and believers under Neyyatinkara Latin Catholic Diocese who were taking out a procession on Friday (January 5 ) reportedly to install a holy cross atop a hill in the forest area.
The agitation turned violent when a section of agitators tried to get past the police barricade, erected to restrict the believers from entering the forest area. The believers were attempting to reach the spot where a wooden cross put up by them a few months ago was destroyed by lightning. The wooden cross was erected in the place of a concrete one which was razed down by authorities as it was located in the prohibited forest area.
A clash ensued between the police and believers who pelted stones at them. This was followed by a lathicharge by the police to disperse the mob. Both believers and the police were injured in the stone pelting and lathicharge.
Representatives of church and police personnel are in talks to defuse the tension.
Karichattimala hill, more popularly known as Bonacaud kurishumala, had been a pilgrim spot for the believers under the diocese. They had been conducting annual ‘way to the cross’ pilgrimage to the hill every year for the past 60 years. The police had said before that they would prevent the agitators from entering the forest land and erecting a cross as it was in violation with a state high court order issued in August last year.
source: Indian Express