Nation Other News 23 Apr 2017 Munnar evictions: &l ...

Munnar evictions: ‘Spirit’ leaders want cross back

Published Apr 23, 2017, 6:35 am IST
Updated Apr 23, 2017, 7:11 am IST
Police and a revenue official visit Pappathichola in Idukki on Saturday. 	— arrangement
 Police and a revenue official visit Pappathichola in Idukki on Saturday. — arrangement

THRISSUR: The leaders of the ‘Spirit in Jesus Ministry Trust’ (SJMT) based at  Kacheri in Nellikkunu on Saturday  demanded the restoration of the demolished steel cross at Papathichola in Chinnakanal village. Mr T.C. John and Mr P.T. Babu,  coordinators of the ministry in Mumbai and Idukki respectively told mediapersons here that  the cross erected on the land was possessed  by a devotee associated with the ministry, Maria Sousa.  But she  did not have any title deed. There was also no official permission to construct  the demolished cross.

“We have with us the application filed by Maria  seeking the title deed for the four acres of land in her possession at Papathichola,  and the cross was there for nearly 50 years. The ministry had given financial aid  for erecting the cross to  the believers in the locality, who had been offering prayers before the cross, especially on Good Friday,” they said. Maria had sent a reply on  April 11  to the notice pasted on the foundation of the cross by the revenue officials before the demolition citing that her application for deed was submitted in 1994 and 2004. “So the eviction done on Thursday is arbitrary and she will challenge it in the court of law with the support of the ministry,” the officials  said. They said that Tom Skaria , who is also associated with SJMT, possessed land in the locality and that he was  in the UK with his son who is residing there.

Mr Senapathy Venu,  general secretary of Idukki DCC, who was in the forefront of the agitation against the  encroachment in Idukki,  said that that Maria Sousa could be a benami of  Tom Skaria, who belongs to the Vellukunnel family which allegedly holds nearly 400 acres of land without any deeds in different locations in Idukki. “The valid document to prove that the land was possessed by Marai or her ancestors for more than 70 years (as claimed by SJMT) is the mention of her name in the BTR register at the village office citing that before 1977, the land was with her or her family. SJMT will have to present that document to prove their claims,”  Mr Senapathy, who is also a lawyer, said.

Location: India, Kerala


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