Kollam: Annamma, 75, of Nediyavila, Puthoor here, can now rest in peace, 31 days after her death on May 14. Despite the threat of protesters to commit suicide over the alleged pollution of water sources caused by the cemetery of Jerusalem Mar Thoma church at Thuruthikkara, Puthoor, her body was buried in a specially constructed concrete vault there on Thursday morning.
The relatives of Annamma belonging to the Mar Thoma church faced a month-long ordeal before getting the nod from the authorities to bury the body. The burial was held in the presence of police force and revenue officials after the local residents tried to disrupt the function. Some protesters even climbed the trees raising suicide threats.
The local residents and BJP workers had prevented her burial earlier in the disputed cemetery alleging pollution of water in nearby wells. Hence, the body was kept in a morgue for the last 31 days.
After several rounds of conciliation talks and a high court order, the district administration approved the burial after constructing a concrete vault. But it asked the relatives to wait for another 20 days for the cement to set and get clearance certificate.
The church authorities started construction of the vault in the presence of the tahsildar and the RDO. The PWD construction department recommended two weeks’ setting time for the concrete, only after which the completion certificate was issued.
Only 28 families in the area belong to Jerusalem church and they were earlier given permission to use its cemetery. The residents had moved the court some four years ago opposing burial. Since then the bodies belonging to the church members were taken to another cemetery under the Mar Thoma Church.
However, this facility was also denied to the family of Annamma, who are Dalit Christians.
A report by the deputy medical officer ruled out any drinking water pollution in the area. According to the parishioners, the cemetery had been functioning for the last 85 years and was being shared by various churches....