KOTTAYAM: The name ‘Spirit in Jesus’ has a mystical tinge to it and the public of Chinnacanal have no clear idea of it. The group has come to limelight with the revenue officials removing the cross erected by it on the 30 acres of encroached land at Pappathicola medu on Thursday. The group, which began functioning a few years ago in Thrisur, in fact, originated at Shanmugha Vilasam in the Chinnacanal panchayat. It was floated by Toms Scaria, son of Vellukkunnel Scaria, popularly known as Suryanelli Scaria, a few years back. Scaria had migrated to Chinnacanal in the 1970s and encroached thousands of acres of land by fabricating title deeds and by other means.
“Vellukunnel Scaria owns at least 1,000 acres of cardamom plantation in Chinnacanal panchayat and there are at least 10 cases against him for fabricating the title deeds at the Nedumkandam JFMC,” Mr Senapathy Venu, a criminal lawyer and Idukki DCC general secretary practising at the court, told DC.
The group established a parish below Papathichola, where most of the families belong to the Sri Lankan Tamil lineage. Twenty of the families, who were rehabilitated after an accord with the Sri Lankan government, are also members of the parish.
According to sources, these families were enticed by Scaria by offering them money. He used to visit the prayer centres at Papathichola once in a month with many followers. His brother Jimmy is also a pastor of the prayer group. It follows much of the Protestant and Calvinist principles of reading and interpreting the Bible and the doctrine of the predestined. The prayer group believes in Christianity chiselled according to the capitalist market and consumerism. The group is known for calling down deceased souls to earth and converting them. They play on the superstition that the sins of the parents and forefathers visit them and cause their failures in life and diseases. The Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council in a circular in June last year had asked the laity not to associate with the prayer group which deviated from the Catholic faith.