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Apr 09, 2007 at 11:29pm IST

Easter mass in jail sparks row

New Delhi: The state human rights commission issued a notice to the Central Prison authorities in Thiruvananthapuram for allegedly obstructing Catholic priests from conducting Easter service for Christian inmates at the jail during their visit on Sunday.

Commission member asked the jail superintendent to explain the circumstances for the lapse on the part of jail officials. It also asked the Director of General of Police (Prisons) to file a report.

Meanwhile, top police sources denied reports that the priests were not permitted to conduct the mass. Security men at the prison had initially objected to the priests carrying wine meant for the service.

They were later allowed to go inside and conduct the mass, the sources said. According to a top police official,there was no deliberate attempt to deny any religious or spiritual right of the inmates.

There was only some confusion regarding permission to allow wine inside. The issue had also sparked a strong protest from the Latin Catholic Diocese here, which argued that it amounted to a move to deny the spiritual needs of prisoners.

With inputs from PTI