KOCHI: The latest flare-up of the ongoing feud between the Jacobite and Orthodox factions saw the followers clashing on the streets at Mammalassery on Tuesday. Muvattupuzha DySP M N Ramesh, two ASIs and five policemen deputed from the Kerala Armed Police(KAP) were injured in the clash.
Catholicos Baselios Thomas I, along with the senior metropolitans of the Jacobite Church, started a prayer meeting at Mar Michael’s Church, Mammalassery.
According to the police,”Both the factions claim ownership over Mar Michael’s Church which is currently under the administration of a receiver.
The annual church feast was being held and when a priest belonging to the Orthodox faction arrived to perform the ‘Anchinmel Qurbana,’ The Jacobites prevented the priest from performing the mass, which led to the clash,” said the Ramamangalam police.
Meanwhile, the Jacobite faction alleged that the church belonged to them and that the Orthodox faction was creating problems there.
“As per a previous agreement, the Orthodox faction has been granted permission to conduct mass once in a month.
But this permission is for a particular priest only.
Violating this condition, Priest Trustee Fr Johns Abraham Konat arrived at Mammalassery for conducting the mass which was opposed by the Jacobites,” said Fr Varghese Kallappara, spokesperson of the Jacobite Church.
The policemen injured in the clash include ASIs K J Varkey and Thomas, and KAP constables Ranjith Rajan, Dhaneesh, Ranjith K V, Melvin and Bitu Mohan.
Bitu Mohan and Melvin have been admitted to Government Hospital, Piravom.
Fr Kallappara alleged that the police were abetting the Orthodox faction to encroach the churches belonging to the Jacobites.
“We have not attacked the police.
Our followers have suffered injuries in the lathicharge,” he said.