Kollam: Annamma, 75, of Thuruthikkara, Nediyavila, Puthoor, who died on Wednesday, cannot rest in peace as her body cannot be buried in the church cemetery following a court order.
The court passed the order based on a complaint that water sources nearby the cemetery were getting contaminated. So the Jerusalem Mar Thoma Church at Thuruthikkara near Puthoor, where her family are members, has refused to bury her body in the cemetery. The body has been kept in a morgue at Sasthamkotta.
Only 28 families in the area belong to the Jerusalem church and were earlier given permission to use the cemetery. The petitioners moved the court four years back opposing the burial in the cemetery. Since then the bodies belonging to the believers of Jerusalem church were taken to another cemetery under the Mar Thoma Church. As that church also denied permission, the family is at the receiving end.
The family approached the district administration seeking its intervention, but the RDO did not give a favorable decision. A report by the deputy medical officer observed no such drinking water pollution issues have been noticed in the area. “There are no houses within 50 metres of the cemetery and the Cheloor chira, from which a drinking water project sources water, is some 200 metres from the cemetery posing no threat of water pollution,” the report says. However, the Kunnathoor panchayat has not yet given licence to operate the cemetery in the area citing that the cemetery lacks basic infrastructure facilities.
“The panchayat has called for a hearing from all the concerned parties on Friday. The church has also not followed the direction by the district administration to maintain proper infrastructure and construction of a compound wall,” P. Geethakumari, panchayat member, told DC.
According to the parishioners, the cemetery has been functioning for the last 85 years and is being shared by various churches. The Jerusalem Mar Thoma church owns 14.5 cent while the Salvation Army, an acre....