60 Cross destroyed in Kerala, Church delegation meets Chief Minister

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According to the Neyyatinkara diocese, a wooden cross was erected atop a hill in the region about 60 years ago.
Thiruvananthapuram:
Some 1,500 Catholics gathered on Aug. 20 to protest the demolition of a cross that stood at a pilgrim spot in the forest area near Bonacaud tea estate in Vithura.

The 24-feet tall concrete cross installed by Catholics of Neyyatinkara Latin Catholic diocese is believed to have been destroyed on Aug. 18 night by some anti-social elements.

The forest officials are yet to solve the mystery behind the demolition of the cross.

The officials restrained the protesters who tried entering the spot on Sunday to offer prayers. However, after the tehsildar intervened, the forest officers allowed the group to enter the area in batches.

Vicar general of the diocese Father hristudas said that the protest will continue till a new cross is installed at the spot.

Later, a delegation from the Neyyatinkara diocese met Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Vijayan assured them that those who have destroyed the cross will be brought to book and reinstallation of the cross will be considered favorably.

The delegation also demanded withdrawal of a case against some priests for allegedly trespassing into the forest area. They also sought security measures to prevent such incidents in the future.

According to the Neyyatinkara diocese, a wooden cross was erected atop a hill in the region about 60 years ago. The demolished concrete cross was erected in its place a year ago.

Recently, the believers had attempted to install new crosses on the way. The move was opposed by a group of people who claimed to be BJP workers, according to a report in The New India Express.

Some Catholics accused forest officials of destroying the cross. The officials were under the threat of disciplinary action, for allowing the construction of concrete structures in the forest land.

The officials concerned have denied the allegation though admitted to having plans to remove the concrete structure from the spot as they stood on forest land and was considered as an act of encroachment, reports Times of India.

The forest department is conducting its own probe besides the police investigation.
Based on UCAN News

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